Novikoff and Siegel Obtain Summary Judgment for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York in Case of First Impression in the United States

March 30, 2016 | Employment & Labor

Ken Novikoff and Jacqui Siegel secured summary judgment on behalf of our client, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, in a case of first impression in the United States. Plaintiff, a “lay” Principal of one of the Archdiocese’s parochial schools, asserted a Title VII employment discrimination claim against the Archdiocese, the local church and affiliated parochial school.  Judge Seibel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York held in Fratello v. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, et. al., that the  “ministerial exception” found within the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which bars certain lawsuits brought by “ministers” of a religious institution and whose application to Title VII claims was recently affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and Sch. v. EEOC, 132 S. Ct. 694, 650 (2012), precluded  Plaintiff from asserting a Title VII claim because Plaintiff, as the head of the parochial school,  was found under the Tabor analysis to be a “minister” of the Church.

Decision

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