Under Title VII, religious institutions that employ workers to engage in religious activities are exempt from complying with anti-discrimination laws under the so-called ministerial exception.
That is, employees performing religious services such as preaching or teaching religious doctrine aren’t covered by Title VII. Employees who perform nonreligious work are protected.
But what about minimum wage and overtime? Are ministerial employees entitled to protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act ()? A federal court in Florida recently sidestepped the issue.
Recent case: Mauricio is a mashgiach—someone who certifies that food is kosher according to the requirements of the Jewish faith. He worked for a kosher catering company, ensuring that the facilities properly separated dairy, meat and nondairy food items. Mauricio had to be present at all times to check in new food as it arrived.
Mauricio sued, alleging that he had been paid below the minimum wage and hadn’t received overtime pay when he worked more than 40 hours per week.
The caterer asked the court to toss out the case because it viewed Mauricio’s work as religious in nature. Therefore, it said, he was subject to the ministerial exception. Mauricio argued that no court in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had yet applied the ministerial exception to the FLSA, and shouldn’t in this case.
The court concluded that it didn’t have to go there. Instead, it pointed out that the catering company wasn’t a religious institution or a nonprofit religious entity. It was a for-profit caterer that merely used a mashgiach as marketing tool. Mauricio wasn’t delivering religious services, but working for a private, profit-making food preparation establishment that depended on kosher certification for sales. (Altman v. Sterling Caterers, No. 11-21829, SD FL, 2012)
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/32906/court-punts-on-kosher-ministerial-exception "
- Beware minimum wage, OT violations--you could owe double damages, and more
- House bill would offer employees comp time instead of OT pay
- Unauthorized overtime is your problem! Take steps to stop it--and punish rule-breakers
- Never knew about unauthorized OT? You're not liable under FLSA
- Interns fighting back: Must you pay them?