SCOTUS Expands “Ministerial Exception” to Employment Discrimination Claims

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, 2020 WL 3808420 (U.S. July 8, 2020), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the so-called “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination claims.

From the decision:

In the cases now before us, we consider employment discrimination claims brought by two elementary school teachers at Catholic schools whose teaching responsibilities are similar to Perich’s. Although these teachers were not given the title of “minister” and have less religious training than Perich, we hold that their cases fall within the same rule that dictated our decision in Hosanna-Tabor . The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission. Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way that the First Amendment does not tolerate.

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