Supreme Court takes up bid by Catholic schools for exemption from worker bias suits

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a pair of cases from Catholic schools who say a religious exemption based on the First Amendment shields them from employment discrimination suits brought by two former teachers.

The cases, both originating in Los Angeles County, pit the U.S. Constitution’s safeguards for free expression of religion against legal protections for workers.

One case was brought by Agnes Morrissey-Berru, who claims age discrimination motivated Our Lady of Guadalupe School’s decision not to renew her teaching contract in 2015.

A second case was brought by the widower of teacher Kristen Biel. The suit claims St. James School’s dismissal of Biel in 2014 while she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

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