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Recent Seventh Circuit Opinion Provides Further Instruction on the “Ministerial Exception”

In its first opinion to date on the “ministerial exception” since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC et al, 132 S.Ct. 694, 706 (2012), the Seventh Circuit has ruled that a Hebrew teacher at a private, Jewish school is a ministerial employee and therefore, her employment discrimination case against the school is barred.  In Grussgott v. Milwaukee Jewish Day School, Inc., No. 17-2332 (7th Cir. February 13, 2018), a former Hebrew teacher at the school sued her employer, alleging that she was terminated due to her disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Her employer argued that the teacher was a ministerial employee and that her claim was therefore barred by the “ministerial exception”.  The district court granted summary judgment on this issue to the employer and the teacher appealed that decision to the Seventh Circuit which, on February 13, 2018, affirmed the district court’s decision.

Click here for a more detailed summary of the Court’s opinion.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this ruling and how it affects your business, please contact Maureen A. Murphy at (312) 506-4475 or  [email protected].