The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling held that two religious school teachers, although not called “ministers,” could not bring employment discrimination suits due to the ministerial exception. In the two consolidated cases, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel, the plaintiffs were teachers at different Catholic schools in California. One plaintiff, Kristen Biel, alleged disability discrimination after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and the school did not renew her employment contract. The other plaintiff, Agnes Morrissey-Berru, alleged age discrimination after the school did not renew her employment contract. Though neither teacher had formal training or titles, their duties included teaching Catholic doctrine.
Articles Discussing Religious Discrimination Under Title VII Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964.
Last week, the US Supreme Court issued two rulings that affect a limited class of employers facing claims of discrimination.
The First Amendment Religion Clauses exempt religious employers from suit by school teachers for alleged employment discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court has held.
The United States Supreme Court issued two decisions this week in cases involving religion and the workplace. In one case, the Court held that religious organizations may not be sued for discrimination by their teachers. In the
The U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the application of the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses to employment decisions made by religious institutions
Executive Summary: Today, July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court decided two cases – both by a 7 to 2 vote – involving the impact of religion in employment. First, the Supreme Court clarified the applicability of the Ministerial Exemption for religious organizations, including religious schools, from the federal antidiscrimination laws. Second, the Supreme Court upheld as valid two Trump Administration interim rules providing that employers who have sincerely held religious beliefs or moral objections against providing insurance coverage or payments for contraceptive services cannot be required to provide such coverage or payments.
Whether the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses prevent civil courts from adjudicating employment discrimination claims brought by employees against their religious employer, where the employee carried out important religious functions, is the question presented in two consolidated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, No. 19-267,
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review two consolidated cases that will afford it an opportunity to develop the “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws it first announced in a 2012 case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 565 U.S. 171. (See our article, ‘Ministerial Exception’ Bars Ministers’ Discrimination Claims, U.S. Supreme Court Rules.)
On December 11, 2019, President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring his administration’s commitment to enforcing federal racial anti-discrimination provisions against discrimination “rooted in anti-Semitism.” Contrary to initial reports, the Executive Order Combating Anti-Semitism does not redefine Judaism as a race or nationality.
Two federal courts have struck down the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) “Conscience Protection Rule,” which was slated to go into effect on November 22, 2019.
The EEOC announced that it reached a $74,418 settlement with a hospital in Owosso, Michigan, to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit the agency had filed under Title VII against the hospital in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. See https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USEEOC/bulletins/24d7ec9; and https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/2-14-18.cfm.
Executive Summary: With Spring around the corner, many employers will begin to receive varying requests for religious accommodations related to the upcoming religious holidays. These requests often conflict with the employer’s work hours/days or employment duties. Employers who outright refuse an employee’s request for accommodation to celebrate these religious holidays may put the company at risk of a claim for religious discrimination. Federal and state laws do not require that an employee be given paid time off for a religious holiday. However, federal law does require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for the religious beliefs of an employee, if the accommodation does not create an undue burden for the employer. Courts look at a number of factors in determining whether the requested accommodation is reasonable. Each request for religious accommodation should be reviewed individually to determine if an accommodation can be made. If the accommodation cannot be made the employer must be able to demonstrate that the religious accommodation creates an undue hardship.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the formation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The new division will review complaints from medical professionals who object on religious or moral grounds to participating in the provision of certain services and/or to certain patients. HHS has also released proposed regulations that would increase the OCR’s responsibility and enforcement power as to existing federal health care antidiscrimination laws involving protections for health care workers related to services such as abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide.
The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case with potentially far-reaching implications for issues at the intersection of civil rights and religious freedoms on December 5, 2017. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111.
Increasingly, employers are turning to biometric scanners – usually a fingerprint or hand scanner – to track employees’ working time. This method for clocking in and out is generally more efficient and accurate than traditional methods, such as using a punch clock.