Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


After last year's blockbuster year, the United States Supreme Court was relatively quiet in the area of employment discrimination during the 2012 survey period. The High Court's most significant ruling was its decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, in which the Court held that the First Amendment's Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses create a "ministerial exception" that barred a disability discrimination lawsuit against a religious organization.

However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit offset the Supreme Court's inactivity by handing down six published Title VII opinions and ten published decisions in the employment discrimination area overall (the highest number in recent years). Perhaps the most noteworthy of these was the decision in Gowski v. Peake, in which the court of appeals recognized for the first time a retaliatory hostile work environment claim. The court also continued its recent trend of handing down a huge number of unpublished decisions, most often affirming a summary judgment for the employer. A select few of the more significant unpublished decisions have been reported on below.