Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Overtime Claim by Minister in Training Under Washington's Minimum Wage Act
In Alcazar v. Corp. of the Catholic Bishop of Seattle, No. 09-35003, an overtime claim brought under Washington's Minimum Wage Act, the court affirmed judgment on the pleadings for defendant where plaintiff was a minister under any reasonable interpretation of the ministerial exception, as he had entered into a church-recognized seminary program to become a minister and brought suit concerning employment decisions arising from work as a seminarian.
As the court wrote: "Churches, like all other institutions, must adhere to state and federal employment laws. But the federal courts have recognized a "ministerial exception" to that general rule. The exception exempts a church's employment relationship with its "ministers" from the application of some employment statutes, even though the statutes by their literal terms would apply. A key inquiry, therefore, is whether an employee is a "minister" for purposes of the exception."