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Suit claims religious group discriminates against women

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Asheville Buncombe Community Chris­­tian Ministry—a nonprofit that provides job training to veterans—is being sued by the South­­ern Pov­­erty Law Center (SPLC), which claims the ministry illegally refuses to provide some kinds of training to women.

According to the suit, male trainees can learn truck driving, culinary arts and “green jobs” skills. However, it says women are steered toward courses on yoga, knitting and how to “de-clutter” one’s home.

The ministry is supported by 300 churches in Asheville and Buncombe County. However, it also receives funds from several federal sources, each of which requires recipients to provide services on an equal basis.

Executive Director Rev. Scott Rogers testified before Congress in March that the organization provides 24 job-training programs to male veterans and 16 to women. The SPLC pointed to the statement as evidence of discrimination in its complaint to the Department of Labor, the agency administering several of the nonprofit’s grants.

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