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Does the “Ministerial” Exception Apply When an Employee is Not a Minister? The Supreme Court Says Yes in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru

Employment / August 7, 2020

The United States Supreme Court recently released its Opinion in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru. The 7-2 decision affirmed the Court’s prior holding in Hosanna-Tabor and held that the “ministerial” exception includes teachers at religious schools, expanding the reach of the doctrine. Our Lady of Guadalupe Sch. v. Morrissey-Berru, 591 U.S. ___ (2020).

Following this decision, religious employers seeking protections from employment discrimination actions under the ministerial exception should consider reviewing internal policies, employee handbooks, and employment contracts to add language reflecting the institution’s mission and the importance that employees contribute to and follow that mission.

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