Su v. Stephen S. Wise TempleAnnotate this Case
Commissioner, on behalf of preschool teachers employed by the Temple, filed suit alleging that the Temple violated various provisions of the Labor Code by failing to provide its preschool teachers with rest breaks, uninterrupted meal breaks, and overtime pay. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Temple and held that the Commissioner's claims were barred by the ministerial exception.
The Court of Appeal reversed and held that the teachers were not "ministers" for purposes of the ministerial exception. In this case, although the Temple's preschool curriculum has both secular and religious content, its teachers were not required to have any formal Jewish education, to be knowledgeable about Jewish belief and practice, or to adhere to the Temple's theology. Furthermore, the Temple did not refer to its teachers as "ministers" or the equivalent, nor did the teachers refer to themselves as such. Therefore, the court remanded for further proceedings.