In an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that religiously affiliated hospitals could jeopardize the financial security of hundreds of thousands of workers nationwide. The decision involves three cases – Dignity Health v. Starla Rollins, Advocate Health Care Network v. Maria Stapleton and St. Peter’s Healthcare System v. Laurence Kaplan.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in a trio of cases concerning pensions at religiously affiliated hospitals could jeopardize the financial security of hundreds of thousands of workers, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The high court ruled 8-0 that religiously affiliated hospitals don’t have to comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law designed to protect employee pensions. Houses of worship are exempt from ERISA, and a number of religiously affiliated hospitals claimed they should be as well.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold lower court rulings that found religiously affiliated hospitals should comply with federal pension protections.
In a friend-of-the-court brief, Americans United argued that exempting religiously affiliated hospitals and health systems from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) would violate church-state separation by granting these institutions a financial advantage over secular competitors.