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Religious Institutions

Franczek represents a variety of religious colleges and universities, ranging from small bible colleges to major universities.  Our work ranges from counseling and policy-drafting to representation of these institutions in court, agencies, and negotiations with government entities and the AAUP.  We have counseled religiously affiliated colleges and universities on appropriate application of local and federal anti-discrimination laws to the hiring and admission practices of the particular institution.  We also draft handbooks and policy documents to help religious institutions preserve their legitimate statutory and constitutional exemptions from selected laws and court-created doctrines; and we conduct on-campus training to help administrators and employees understand the applicable policies and legal requirements.

We are also experienced in defending religious institutions and their employees against allegations of religious and other forms of discrimination, including challenges to an institution’s religious exemption from Title VII or local anti-discrimination ordinances.  We have represented institutions in actions challenging institutional conduct codes or contractual academic freedom limitations arising from the particular principles of the governing denomination.  When working with religiously affiliated institutions, our goal is help our clients adopt procedures and conduct codes that are not only consistent with the law but also honor the unique religious and cultural identity of the particular institution.  We strive to defend all of our clients’ rights to freedom of religion and association, consistent with the legitimate limitations of state, federal, and constitutional law.