Big Sky Colony, Inc. v. Dep't of Labor & Indus.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff The Big Sky Colony, Inc., a signatory to the Hutterian Brethren Church Constitution, organized itself as a religious corporation under Montana law. Plaintiff Daniel Wipf was the Colony's first minister and corporate president. Plaintiffs brought suit against the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, claiming that the requirement to provide workers' compensation coverage for the Colony's members engaged in certain commercial activities contained in HB 119 violated the Colony's rights under the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause and also violated the Colony's right to equal protection. The district court found in favor of the Colony. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the provisions of HB 119 that incorporated the Colony into the definition of "employer" and the Colony's members into the definition of "employee" under the Workers' Compensation Act did not violate the Free Exercise Clause, the Establishment Clause, or the Colony's right to equal protection of the laws.