Employment Law

FLORIDA: School that gets gov't money scrutinized for firing teacher based on sexual orientation

FLORIDA: School that gets gov't money scrutinized for firing teacher based on sexual orientation

In June, a Florida Seventh-day Adventist school that received state and federal funding fired a teacher because of his sexual orientation.

 
 

Founders’ First Freedom urges Supreme Court to Restore Title VII Workplace Religious Accommodation Standard

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.com

Today, Founders’ First Freedom, Inc. filed an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to revisit and restore the workplace religious accommodation standard found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

 
 

Supreme Court: Religious schools immune from teachers' discrimination claims

Supreme Court of the United States

The ethical and moral onus is now on religious institutions as they decide whether to fire "ministerial" employees for reasons illegal in the secular world, such as age or the need for cancer treatment. Institutions engaging in this kind of discriminatory tactic will still need to answer to a Higher Source who will not be impressed with their ability to obtain summary judgment. The way for religious institutions to "win" these cases is to avoid them in the first place by taking the lead in treating employees with the highest degree of care and concern.

 
 

Supreme Court declines to hear Sabbath accommodation case

Darrell Patterson

The Supreme court has decided against hearing a workplace accommodation case involving a Seventh-day Adventist, but hints that it may revisit employer accommodation standards in the future. 

 
 

Supreme Court to decide whether church school teachers are barred from suing for discrimination

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court announced today that it would hear arguments in two employment cases involving whether teachers in Catholic Schools can file lawsuits in pursuit of employment non-discrimination rights.  The Court has consolidated St. James School v. Biel and Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, both on appeal from the Ninth Circuit, which decided the teachers could sue.  

 
 

Court to decide whether Title VII protects LGBT employees

Supreme Court of the United States

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases involving whether the antidiscrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect LGBT employees. While state laws may provide localized protection, the question of whether the protection extends nationwide has been raised by two employers who have claimed they have the right under existing Federal law to discriminate based on sexual orientation and transgender status.

 
 

Legal and Legislative Update

An update on the status of Patterson v. Walgreen, New York expands statute of limitations on child sexual abuses case, ministerial exception in disability claims, and Sabbath accommodation

 
 

Supreme Court rules that Title VII EEOC filing requirements are mandatory but not jurisdictional

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court issued a ruling on June 3, 2019, in a case (Fort Bend County v. Davis)  involving whether a court may hear a discrimination case where the plaintiff fails to raise all charges in an initial EEOC complaint.  The Court found that the Title VII’s rules are procedural, not jurisdictional, and as such procedural defenses need to be raised early in a case.

 
 

Supreme Court Requests Solicitor General's Opinion on Sabbath Accommodation Case

Supreme Court Requests Solicitor General's Opinion on Sabbath Accommodation Case

The value of the Patterson case does not merely hinge on its facts, which would likely have to be developed at the trial level, but more importantly, it provides a vehicle for the Circuit courts to obtain needed guidance from the Supreme Court in order to consistently interpret Title VII religious accommodation requirements. 

 
 

Justices hint interest in revisiting Title VII religious accommodation while declining to hear football coach prayer case

Justices hint interest in revisiting Title VII religious accommodation while declining to hear football coach prayer case

It is debatable whether a claim by a public school football coach that he is compelled by religious belief to pray at the 50-yard line following each game is a good vehicle for addressing either free exercise or workplace religious accommodation. However, it does appear that the four justices who signed onto Alito's response have concerns about the chilling effect of Hardison and Smith on the ability to even raise Title VII religious accommodation and Free Exercise Clause claims. With Patterson v. Walgreen Co., the Supreme Court has the opportunity to revisit religious accommodation claims under Title VII.