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‘Ministerial’ employees can’t sue under federal employment laws

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

by Christopher Murray and David Wagner, Esqs.

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently confirmed the existence of a “ministerial exception” to the ADA and other federal employment statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The justices held that the Con­sti­tut­­ion’s First Amendment bars em­­ployees in ministerial positions from suing churches and other religious em­­ployers under such laws.

The case is Hosanna-Tabor Evan­gelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC (No. 10-553, U.S. Supreme Court, 2012). If your organization is religiously affiliated, you need to understand this decision.

First ‘called,’ then fired

Cheryl Perich was a teacher at the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Luth­­eran Church and School in Michi­­­­gan.

The school has two kinds of teachers: regular “lay teachers” and “called teachers” such as Perich, who have studied theology and to whom the church has given the title of “Minister of...(register to read more)

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