Religious Schools

News & Analysis as of

No TRO: Here’s Why

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, approximately two weeks after it denied Livingston Christian Schools’ (“LCS” or “School”) request for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), has issued a written...more

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction...more

Federal Court Denies Religious School’s Request for Temporary Restraining Order

A few weeks ago, we reported on a new RLUIPA suit arising in Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, where Livingston Christian Schools is suing the Township over the denial of a special land use permit to operate a religious...more


We’ve been monitoring news items involving local government, religion, and land use that may be of interest to our readers. Below is what has caught our attention. Livingston Daily reports that Genoa Charter Township...more

New RLUIPA Suit: Religious School Sues Genoa Charter Township, Michigan

As the end of summer nears, most schools are finalizing courses and preparing for the return of students. Livingston Christian Schools has much more to deal with – it is suing Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, in federal...more

Religious Institutions: August 2015

The decision by the United States Supreme Court on same-sex marriage has been greeted with praise and disdain by different corners of the country. The faith-based community has been especially outspoken. This is not...more

Right to Marry But Not to Work? Pennsylvania Catholic School Terminates Gay Married Teacher

Last month, Waldron Mercy Academy, a K-8 Catholic school located in Merion, Pennsylvania, fired Margie Winters from her position as Director of Religious Education, a job she had held for 8 years. According to Ms. Winters,...more

Does the Supreme Court's Marriage Decision Protect Religious Entities?

COMMENTARY: For faithful Christians, Jews and Muslims, the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges leaves more questions than answers. In the days running up to today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage ...more


We’re a little late with the round-up, but promise to continue our effort to bring you interesting stories from the intersection of religion and government. - Mayfair, Pennsylvania residents feel disappointment after...more

Religious Institutions: June 2015

Religious institutions commonly make payments to or receive payments directly or indirectly from governmental agencies for services rendered; e.g., day cares that benefit from public scholarships, hospitals that participate...more

Shaking Down the Thunder From the Sky: Part 2 of Notre Dame's Challenge to the Contraception Mandate

For the second time in as many years, the Seventh Circuit has declined to grant Notre Dame’s request for an injunction exempting the university from the contraception requirements of the Affordable Care Act. As was true back...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

In a World Where Talking to Yourself May Now Qualify as “Concerted” Activity . . .

Where up is down and left means right, talking to yourself may now qualify as “concerted” activity under the current NLRB. In Berkeley Preparatory School, Inc. and Kathi Grau, a teacher at a private, non-profit, religious...more

The Ultimate Deus Ex Machina – Swingers Club Becomes a Church!

Every so often RLUIPA Defense feels the need to expand its reporting horizons. We usually stick to run-of-the-mill, pending or threatened litigation related to religious-land uses and RLUIPA. Sometimes we stray a bit and...more

The NLRB Weighs In on Faculty Unions for Religiously-Affiliated Schools

Back on December 16, 2014 the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), in its Pacific Lutheran University decision, announced a new standard for the exercise of its jurisdiction over religiously-affiliated colleges and...more

Court Finds Muslim Group Lacks Property Interest and Tosses RLUIPA Suit; Pittsfield Charter Township Wins

A federal court in Michigan has ruled against a Muslim group in its RLUIPA suit against Pittsfield Charter Township after finding that the group lacked a legally cognizable property interest to sustain its claims. To...more

NLRB Jurisdictional Ruling Clears Path for Unionization of Religious Schools

A National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Regional Director recently issued a ruling that could clear the way for more unionization of faculty members at private, religious schools. The Regional Director for NLRB Region 19...more

Regional Director Issues First Post-Pacific Lutheran Decision

It did not take long for the fallout from the NLRB’s Pacific Lutheran University decision to begin. That decision, issued on December 16, 2014, announced new standards for (1) exercise of NLRB jurisdiction over...more

Illinois Appellate Court Interprets Equal Terms “Comparator” Favorably for Local Government

In an important decision for local governments, the Illinois Appellate Court on March 6, 2015 issued its decision in Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School (“JDBY”) v. City of Evanston. The decision, particularly the...more

Spiritual Director Doesn't Have a Prayer When it Comes to Her Discrimination and Termination Claims

Religious employers can rejoice once again, as yet another court upholds the ministerial exception and dismisses an employee's discrimination and termination claims....more

The NLRB Appears To Clear The Path Toward Greater Unionization Of Private Colleges And Universities

In a decision notable for not just one, but two revisions to established National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) analytical framework, the Board appears to open the door toward increased unionization of private...more

District of Columbia Passes Two New Non-Discrimination Laws Impacting Employers

Earlier this week, D.C.’s Mayor signed two new measures amending the D.C. Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”) to prohibit (1) discrimination against employees of religiously-affiliated educational institutions on the basis of sexual...more

New NLRB Determination Makes It Easier For Unions To Organize Faculty At Universities And Colleges

In still another break with long-standing precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has once again eased the way for union organizing – this time for unions seeking to organize faculty at private sector...more

Year in Review: NLRB Edition

With the new year upon us, we have rounded up some of the most important NLRB decisions of 2014. By all accounts, the NLRB was as active as ever in 2014. Its decisions and rulemaking will preoccupy HR and LR professionals in...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Announces Two New Standards Favorable to Faculty Unions

In Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, a case that had been watched closely by the higher education community, the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision the week before Christmas announcing new...more

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