Type to search

Church Politics

Wisconsin Appeals Court Upholds Church’s Right to Require Employees to Follow its Beliefs

Avatar photo

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that a Madison, Wisconsin, church has the legal right to expect its employees to share and live out its religious beliefs.

The appeals court ruling in Sandoval v. Capitoland Christian Center Church affirmed an earlier decision that the church did not discriminate when it told a cook for the church’s daycare and school that her choice to live with her boyfriend violated the church’s religious beliefs. 

The employee quit her job and sued Capitoland Christian Center’s church, school, and daycare for marital status discrimination, a protected class under Madison’s nondiscrimination law.

All employees at Capitoland Christian Center are required to review and sign a statement of faith upon being hired, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the church in the case. The employee in question had signed the affirmation.

The appellate court ruled she had suffered no adverse employment action as a result, upholding Capitoland Christian Center Church’s right to require its employees to abide by its core beliefs.

 “Every church has a statement of faith, and it is not only reasonable, but expected for a church to require its employees to agree with and follow its religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus. “We’re pleased the Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed and that Capitoland Christian Center Church will be free to continue its great work in the Madison community.”

Access to MinistryWatch content is free.  However, we hope you will support our work with your prayers and financial gifts.  To make a donation, click here.

Avatar photo
Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.