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Serrano v. Family Life Faith and Freedom Educational Corporation

Case Summary

Calvary Chapel Thousand Oaks purchased a secular preschool after forming a standard “for profit” corporation to hold the school, not realizing that state law only expressly exempts religious nonprofit corporations from the law prohibiting discrimination in employment decisions. The church informed the teachers that it intended to convert the establishment to a Christian preschool over a 3 to 4 year time frame and that once the final conversion occurred, the teachers would be required to sign a statement of faith and obtain a pastoral reference. When the school was finally converted to a Christian school, two teachers filed a lawsuit for discrimination after their employment contract was not renewed because they refused to provide a pastoral reference or sign the statement of faith.