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HOSANNA-TABOR CHURCH v. EEOC

Docket No.: 10-553
Certiorari Granted: 03/28/11
Argued: October 5, 2011
Decided: 01/11/12

Topics:

ADA, ADEA, Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights, Civil Rights Act, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Establishment Clause, Fair Labor Standards Act, First Amendment, Free Exercise, Free Exercise of Religion, Title VII, anti-retaliation, public schools, retaliation, separation of church and state, sex discrimination

PartyNames: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al.
Petitioner: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School
Respondent: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Citation: 597 F.3d 769
Supreme Court Docket

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School
v.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al.
Background:

The federal courts of appeals have long recognized the "ministerial exception," a First Amendment doctrine that bars most employment-related lawsuits brought against religious organizations by employees performing religious functions. The circuits are in complete agreement about the core applications of this doctrine to pastors, priests, and rabbis. But they are evenly divided over the boundaries of the ministerial exception when applied to other employees.

Question Presented:

Whether the ministerial exception applies to a teacher at a religious elementary school who teaches the full secular curriculum, but also teaches daily religion classes, is a commissioned minister, and regularly leads students in prayer and worship.

Question:

Does the ministerial exception, which prohibits most employment-related lawsuits against religious organizations by employees performing religious functions, apply to a teacher at a religious elementary school who teaches the full secular curriculum, but also teaches daily religion classes, is a commissioned minister, and regularly leads students in prayer and worship?

Note:

The federal courts of appeals have long recognized the "ministerial exception," a First Amendment doctrine that bars most employment-related lawsuits brought against religious organizations by employees performing religious functions. The circuits are in complete agreement about the core applications of this doctrine to pastors, priests, and rabbis. But they are evenly divided over the boundaries of the ministerial exception when applied to other employees.

HOSANNA-TABOR CHURCH v. EEOC
ORAL ARGUMENT

10/05/11

Listen to Oral Argument in HOSANNA-TABOR CHURCH v. EEOC
Holding: REVERSED
Vote: 9-0
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