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“Whether it was the intent of the Legislature to have this carve-out that the Supreme Court has established remains to be seen,” she said.

Employees of religious nonprofits whose jobs don’t entail the institution’s religious concerns can already file job discrimination claims with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Such claims must be filed within 180 days if the petitioner has no claim under state law, or within 300 days if the petitioner also has a state-law claim.

Because Ockletree’s federal petition wasn’t filed within 180 days, if the state law didn’t apply, his federal claims would be barred as well. But with Thursday’s ruling, it appears he will be able to pursue both state and federal discrimination claims. Ockletree is seeking damages.