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Ministerial Exception Prevents Court from Resolving Discrimination Lawsuit

Key point 8-10.1. The civil courts have consistently ruled that the First Amendment prevents the civil courts from applying employment laws to the relationship between a church and a minister.

A federal court in Indiana ruled that the "ministerial exception" prevented it from resolving a lawsuit of a former principal at a Catholic high school claiming that the school's failure to renew her employment contract amounted to unlawful sex, age, and disability discrimination. A woman (the "plaintiff") served as a public elementary school principal for 17 years. In late July 2012, she was hired as the principal of a Catholic high school for the 2012-2013 school year. In late spring 2013, she was offered, and accepted, the position of school principal for the 2013-2014 school year. On March 3, 2014, the plaintiff was informed that her contract would not be renewed for the following year. The plaintiff ...

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  • December 20, 2017

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