In what could be the end of the Sixth Circuit’s 0-15 “losing streak” before the United States Supreme Court (reported previously here), the Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in the case of EEOC, et al, v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School.pdf to review the Sixth Circuit’s determination that the termination of a parochial school teacher was subject to a claim of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12117(a) (“ADA”).
The Sixth Circuit vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the school, holding that the “ministerial exception” to the ADA, which allows religious entities to give “preference in employment to individuals of a particular religion” and to “require that all applicants and employees conform to the religious tenants of such organization,” was not applicable where, as here, the teacher’s primary duties were secular. In so holding, the Sixth Circuit, according to Petitioner’s Writ.pdf, has deepened the split as to whether the “primary duties” test is the appropriate test to apply, with the Sixth Circuit joining the Third, Fourth and D.C. Circuits in applying the “primary duties” test and the Second, Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits rejecting it.