Byline: Derek Hawkins
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: Stanislaw Sterlinski v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago
Case No.: 18-2844
Officials: EASTERBROOK, SYKES, and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Title VII Violation
Saint Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Parish in Chicago hired Stanislaw Sterlinski in 1992 as Director of Music. In 2014 the Parish's priest (Anthony Dziorek, C.R.) demoted Sterlinski to the job of organist and in 2015 fired him outright. He contends in this employment discrimination suit against the Bishop of Chicago that the Parish held his Polish heritage against him. Until his demotion he could have been fired for any reason, because as Director of Music he held substantial authority over the conduct of religious services and would have been treated as a "minister" for the purpose of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012), which holds that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not apply to ministers. But as organist, Sterlinski says, he was just "robotically playing the music that he was given" and could not be treated as a minister. The district court disagreed with this proposed...