Supreme Court Upholds Religious Freedom in Employment Laws

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Last week a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that religious employers can keep the government out of their hiring and firing decisions.

In the case, former teacher Cheryl Perich argued that a Lutheran school in Michigan discriminated against her under the Americans With Disabilities Act by refusing to reinstate her in her job after she took leave for narcolepsy.

But the high court overturned an earlier decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, finding that as a “called” teacher, Ms. Perich was properly classified as a “minister,” meaning she falls within the “ministerial exemption” from many employment laws.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court “The exception … ensures that the authority to select and control who will minister to the faithful is the church’s alone.”

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