The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to uphold the “ministerial exception” that exempts religious institutions from having to comply with some employment laws has cleared the way for two lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Both had been put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling.
In one of the Cincinnati cases, a former teacher’s aide is seeking damages against the diocese, claiming it violated her rights under the.
In the second, a technology coordinator at a Catholic school said she was fired after church leaders learned she had become pregnant through artificial insemination, a practice the church considers immoral.
The woman claims the diocese violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The Title VII charge alleges the church would treat males who contributed sperm to sperm banks differently than women who become pregnant through artificial insemination.
In both cases, the diocese claims the “ministerial exception” applies, exempting them from complying with any employment laws.
Both cases were held in abeyance until the Supreme Court ruled in EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School. In that case, the High Court decided a teacher who was “called” to teach at the school (as opposed to lay teachers) fell under the ministerial exception because she had undergone religious training and helped the church convey its message and accomplish its mission.
The courts will examine these two cases to determine whether the ministerial exception applies.
Note: Religious employers may wish to have employees sign a statement acknowledging that part of their role is to minister to others and that the “ministerial exception” covers them.
That may deter lawsuits, but the courts will ultimately decide each case on its particular circumstances.
Another option is for religious employers to voluntarily abide by anti-discrimination laws in areas that do not deal with issues of conscience.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/30444/two-ohio-cases-will-test-ministerial-exception "