Court to Decide If Teacher Can Sue Church School

March 28, 2011 - 11:33 AM

Washington (AP) - The Supreme Court will decide whether a teacher at a church-run school is a religious or secular worker when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The high court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Mich.

Cheryl Perich got sick then tried to return to work. Still, the school fired her. She complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued the church.

The church wants the case thrown out. The ADA has a "ministerial exception" which prevents government involvement in the employee-employer relationship between churches and ministerial employees.

But the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Perich's job as a teacher was secular, not religious, so the exception blocking the lawsuit didn't count.