Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- In Lowe v. Mills, the 1st Circuit reversed in part a Maine district court’s dismissal of a suit byhealth care facility workers who were denied religious exemptions from the state’s COVID vaccine mandate. The court affirmed dismissal of the Title VII claims, but allowed plaintiffs’ Free Exercise and Equal Protection claims to go forward.
- In Ratlliff v. Wycliffe Associates, Inc., the Middle District of Florida refused to dismiss a Title VII employment discrimination suit brought by a software developer who was fired from a Bible translation company after the company learned that he had entered a same-sex marriage. The court rejected the company’s RFRA and ministerial exception defenses.
- In Tatel v. Mt. Lebanon School District (II), the Western District of Pennsylvania held that parents of first-grade students asserted plausible claims that their due process and free exercise rights were violated by a teacher who discussed gender identity with young students. The court found that the teacher’s discussion “conflicts with [the Plaintiffs’] sincerely held religious and moral beliefs.”
- In Rolovich v. Washington State University, the Eastern District of Washington refused to dismiss a Title VII failure-to-accommodate claim by the head football coach of Washington State University. The coach was terminated after he refused to comply with the state’s Covid vaccine mandate on religious grounds, and the court found that he had done enough at the pleading stage to show a sincerely held religious belief.
- The EEOC announced that it has filed a Title VII suit against Triple Canopy, Inc., for failing to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. The employee maintained that he “did not belong to a formal religious denomination but nonetheless held a Christian belief that men must wear beards.” The employer discharged him because he could not obtain a supporting statement from a religious leader.
- The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota challenging a Minnesota law that excludes religious universities from a program that allows high school students to obtain no-cost college credit.