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Supreme Court to Weigh Churches' Employment Rights

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether a teacher who was fired from a religious school is subject to a "ministerial exception" that can bar suits against religious

organizations.

The case involves an employment dispute between a Michigan school and a teacher who is defended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Lawyers for the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Mich., argue that courts have long recognized the First Amendment doctrine that often prevents employees who perform religious functions from suing religious organizations.

They asked the court to determine whether it extends to teachers at a religious school who teach a secular curriculum but also teach religion classes and lead students in prayer.

A lower court sided with the school and against fired teacher Cheryl Perich, citing the ministerial exception. But last March, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, saying it did not apply because Perich spends most ...

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