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Ministerial Exception to Title VII

Client Alert

On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision holding that religious institutions, such as churches and religion-based schools, are shielded from employment discrimination lawsuits — including claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In doing so, the Court decided in favor of two Catholic schools facing legal discrimination claims from former teachers who alleged wrongful termination from their employment for age and disability.

The cases, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel, concern the ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws which protect religious employers from certain lawsuits brought by employees. The exception, arising from protections under the First Amendment, bars the government from interfering with religious institutions’ hiring and firing of clergy.

The ruling ultimately broadens the ministerial exception to Title VII by holding that school teachers who perform a religious role in the course of their employment fall within a ministerial exception from civil rights protections afforded to other employees. To be under the exception, the individual does not need to be ordained and religion duties need only to make up a small portion of their overall responsibilities.

Here, the expanded ministerial exemption means that employees at religious institutions who perform any religious role will no longer be able to sue for sexual harassment, equal pay, and other civil rights protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

For more information, contact Bryan Meek at bmeek@bmdllc.com.


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EEOC’s New “Know Your Rights” Poster to Replace “EEO is the Law” Poster

Under federal law, covered employers are required to post a notice in the workplace describing federal antidiscrimination laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prepares the mandatory posters summarizing antidiscrimination laws and explaining how employees and applicants can file a complaint if they believe they have experienced job discrimination. On October 19, 2022, the EEOC released a new poster: “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal,” replacing the “EEO is the Law” poster. Employers must now use the poster captioned as “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal – Revised 10/20/22.” Employers may be reprimanded for failure to appropriately and compliantly post the updated poster.

FAQs:  Administrative Fees Under Medicare

Late patients, last-minute cancellations, and difficulty in collecting fees are all common complaints from our healthcare clients.  As such, it is no wonder that a common topic among our healthcare clients revolves around what administrative fees can be charged to patients and related issues.

Community Banks: Collaboration, not isolation, is the key to protecting/ enhancing the cannabis business you pioneered

As we prepare for the plenary session of the informal institutional cannabis lenders community announced in my previous article, I am pleased to advise that participants now include 5 of the best-known dedicated loan funds; a select group of commercial banks ranging in size from single state community banks to mid-size regionals making cannabis loans into the mid-8 figures; and, a syndicator of credit union cannabis loans.

Inflation Reduction Act: Healthcare Provisions

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (the “Act”), a landmark climate, healthcare, and tax bill. Though the Act’s climate provisions have received most of the media attention, the healthcare aspects of the Act present some of the most significant changes to the American healthcare system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.