When an elementary school teacher named Cheryl Perich collapsed during a school field trip, a chain of events unfolded that led to her suing her school for disability discrimination. Perich wasn’t just a teacher, however; she was a commissioned minister, a formal rank within her church, which meant that the ministerial exception, the legal doctrine prohibiting ministers from suing their churches over employment matters, could apply to her case.

Is there a ministerial exception under the First Amendment? Was Cheryl Perich a minister as well as a teacher? Prof. Douglas Laycock of the University of Virginia School of Law explores the ministerial exception in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Learn more about Douglas Laycock:


Related Links & Differing Views:

SCOTUSblog: “Opinion recap: A solid ‘ministerial exception’”

Harvard Law Review: “Leading Cases: Freedom of Religion: Ministerial Exception”

Northwestern University Law Review: “The Irony of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC”

The First Amendment Encyclopedia: “Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC (2012)”

Virginia Law Review: “Waiving the Ministerial Exception”