Sep 15, 2011

The plaintiff claimed to have been terminated from her employment at a Catholic Hospital on account of her age. The hospital claimed that it was exempt from liability on account of a California law that exempts religiously-affiliated institutions from adhering to the state’s anti-discrimination laws even when the alleged discrimination is not religiously based. In November 1996, AU filed an amicus brief before the California Supreme Court in support of a challenge to the constitutionality of the law if interpreted as urged by the hospital. The brief argued that the exemption should extend no further than that allowed under the federal Title VII, which exempts religiously-affiliated institutions only with respect to religious discrimination. In May 2000, the California Supreme Court sided with the hospital, finding that the plain terms of the statute entitled the hospital to benefit from the exemption. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari in November 2000.