The Wyoming Rescue Mission has settled a lawsuit with state and federal agencies after the group sued when it faced punishments for hiring employees with religious beliefs.
Attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom recently announced that a settlement had been agreed upon. Under the settlement agreement, state officials must acknowledge that Wyoming Rescue Mission is a religious organization and free to hire "like-minded" employees, CBN News reports.
The Wyoming Rescue Mission actively ministers to homeless people and offers faith-based recovery programs and other assistance to residents.
"The First Amendment protects Wyoming Rescue Mission's freedom to hire those who share its beliefs without being threatened and investigated by the government," said ADF Legal Counsel Jacob Reed. "We're pleased to favorably settle this case for the rescue mission so it can continue its critical work of serving some of Casper's most vulnerable citizens and spreading the gospel."
The rescue mission requires all employees to agree with its religious beliefs, and according to the group's "career opportunities" page, "employees are expected to commit to the precepts in our Statement of Faith, and to help the Mission fulfill its mission statement, vision statement, and ends statement.
"The Mission considers every position one of ministry and a vital and valued part of our team. Therefore, it is essential that all employees of the Mission have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and subscribe to our Statement of Faith and Ministry Principles. Employees must be willing to lead and/or participate in Bible study, prayer, devotions, and sharing the Gospel."
The lawsuit came after the rescue mission decided not to hire self-proclaimed non-Christians at one of its Rescued Treasures Thrift Stores. The applicant was told during a pre-screening interview that all employees must agree to a statement of faith and demonstrate "Christian principles" in their life, but the applicant said she was not a believer.
She then filed a discrimination charge against the mission, and officials later decided that the mission had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.