New York, NY, January 11, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court decision ensuring that employees of religious organizations who believe they are victims of discrimination are given an opportunity to assert their claims in court.
"We are gratified that the court articulated a view of the ministerial exception consistent with what we recommended in our amicus brief (PDF)," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "The burden of showing that an employee is not entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws is now rightfully on the religious institution."
The case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, involved the right of a teacher to bring a claim against her religious employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In its decision, the Court affirmed that a religious institution can claim to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws as they might apply to employees whose work advances the religious institution's mission.