Laws Applying to Religious Entities

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The following are the primary Federal disability laws that apply to religious entities.  Receipt of Federal assistance by religious entities carries with it the nondiscrimination obligations of Federal law.  Additional nondiscrimination requirements issued by state and local governments may also apply.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended

  • Section 504 - Programs, Services, and Activities (if Federal financial assistance is received)

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990*

  • Title I - Employment (for entities with 15 or more employees)

Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended

Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 - (if using certain Federal construction dollars)

* Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coverage:  Religious entities are excluded from coverage under Title III ADA.  However, private, nonreligious entities that lease space from a religious entity to operate an entity covered by Title III (e.g., a social service establishment, food bank, emergency shelter) must comply with the requirements of Title III.  Although the private nonreligious entity is responsible for compliance with Title III requirements, the religious entity remains exempt under Title III of the ADA.

State and local government activities that occur on property owned by religious entities or that are operated through arrangements with religious entities must comply with the requirements of Title II of the ADA.  Although the state or local government is responsible for ensuring compliance with Title II requirements, the religious entity remains exempt under Title III of the ADA.

Last Updated: 
10/06/2012 - 10:00
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