U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes a "Ministerial Exception" Applies to Federal Anti-Discrimination Employment Laws


Today, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v .E.E.O.C., the U.S. Supreme Court held that there is a "ministerial exception" to Federal anti-discrimination employment laws. Despite the fact that the Federal Courts of Appeal have uniformly recognized such an exception for 40 years, the Supreme Court has never directly addressed the issue before today.

Relying on the First Amendment, the Court reasoned that permitting anti-discrimination lawsuits in such cases was an unconstitutional interference with a church's right to control the selection of those who will personify its beliefs.

Although it refused to adopt a rigid test as to who qualifies as a minister under this exception, it did set out a list of criteria forcourts to consider. These are...

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jackson Walker | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Jackson Walker on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.