Published January 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES – A lawsuit by a Southern California Christian school against two former teachers who refused to provide proof of their faith could pose one of the first court tests of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on religious freedom.
A legal expert said last year's ruling that religious workers can't sue for job discrimination never specified whether that includes teachers at religious schools. The court refused to specify in that ruling what constituted a religious worker, leaving teachers uncertain of their status under the law.
Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks purchased Little Oaks School in 2009. Leaders told employees last year that they would need to provide a statement of faith and a reference from a pastor to renew their contracts.
The two teachers lost their jobs after refusing to provide the documents. After they threatened litigation, school leaders filed their own lawsuit in federal court.