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Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC

United States Supreme Court
132 S. Ct. 694 (2012)


Facts

Cheryl Perich was a “called” teacher at Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School (the school) (defendant). Called teachers were required to complete formal religious training and were commissioned as ministers. In fact, Perich’s formal title was “Minister of Religion, Commissioned.” The school also employed “lay” teachers, who were not required to undergo religious training or even belong to the church. Perich taught both secular and religious subjects in the school, conducted daily prayer and devotions for her students, and brought her students to weekly chapel services. Perich also occasionally presided over the chapel service. When she developed a chronic condition that the school did not accommodate, Perich threatened to sue. The school fired her for insubordination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (plaintiff) sued on her behalf, claiming that the school unlawfully fired Perich “in retaliation for claiming her rights under federal law.” The United States Supreme Court considered the issue.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)

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