Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, Nos. 89-2341

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore SPROUSE and CHAPMAN; SPROUSE
Citation899 F.2d 1389
Parties54 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 501, 29 Wage & Hour Cas. (BN 1209, 53 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 39,791, 58 USLW 2616, 114 Lab.Cas. P 35,336, 59 Ed. Law Rep. 669 Elizabeth DOLE, Secretary, United States Department of Labor; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. SHENANDOAH BAPTIST CHURCH; Carol C. Anderson; Lola D. Clifton; Loretta B. Dillon; Dorothy M. Dixon; Alma S. Greene; Delilah F. Gross; Margaret Harvey; Mary Ann Herndon; Jeffrey P. Kessler; John T. Kessler; Shirley I. Kessler; Joyce T. Martin; Eva T. Murdock; Sherry R. Padgett; Antoinette L. Parsons; Barbara C. Shelor; Donna Shelor; Mary Beth Shelor; Ann T. Shelton; Ruth Wesselink; Donna M. Womack, Defendants-Appellants. Elizabeth DOLE, Secretary, United States Department of Labor; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SHENANDOAH BAPTIST CHURCH; Carol C. Anderson; Lola D. Clifton; Loretta B. Dillon; Dorothy M. Dixon; Alma S. Greene; Delilah F. Gross; Margaret Harvey; Mary Ann Herndon; Jeffrey P. Kessler; John T. Kessler; Shirley I. Kessler; Joyce T. Martin; Eva T. Murdock; Sherry R. Padgett; Antoinette L. Parsons; Barbara C. Shelor; Donna Shelor; Mary Beth Shelor; Ann T. Shelton; Ruth Wesselink; Donna M. Womack, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date05 April 1990
Docket NumberNos. 89-2341,89-2369

Page 1389

899 F.2d 1389
54 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 501,
29 Wage & Hour Cas. (BN 1209,
53 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 39,791, 58 USLW 2616,
114 Lab.Cas. P 35,336, 59 Ed. Law Rep. 669
Elizabeth DOLE, Secretary, United States Department of
Labor; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
SHENANDOAH BAPTIST CHURCH; Carol C. Anderson; Lola D.
Clifton; Loretta B. Dillon; Dorothy M. Dixon; Alma S.
Greene; Delilah F. Gross; Margaret Harvey; Mary Ann
Herndon; Jeffrey P. Kessler; John T. Kessler; Shirley I.
Kessler; Joyce T. Martin; Eva T. Murdock; Sherry R.
Padgett; Antoinette L. Parsons; Barbara C. Shelor; Donna
Shelor; Mary Beth Shelor; Ann T. Shelton; Ruth Wesselink;
Donna M. Womack, Defendants-Appellants.
Elizabeth DOLE, Secretary, United States Department of
Labor; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
SHENANDOAH BAPTIST CHURCH; Carol C. Anderson; Lola D.
Clifton; Loretta B. Dillon; Dorothy M. Dixon; Alma S.
Greene; Delilah F. Gross; Margaret Harvey; Mary Ann
Herndon; Jeffrey P. Kessler; John T. Kessler; Shirley I.
Kessler; Joyce T. Martin; Eva T. Murdock; Sherry R.
Padgett; Antoinette L. Parsons; Barbara C. Shelor; Donna
Shelor; Mary Beth Shelor; Ann T. Shelton; Ruth Wesselink;
Donna M. Womack, Defendants-Appellees.
Nos. 89-2341, 89-2369.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued Jan. 9, 1990.
Decided March 30, 1990.
As Amended April 5, 1990.

Page 1391

Donald W. Lemons, Durrette, Irvin & Lemons, P.C., Richmond, Va., Donald Wise Huffman, Bird, Kinder & Huffman, Roanoke, Va. (John L. Cooley, Fox, Wooten & Hart, P.C., Roanoke, Va., on brief), for defendants-appellants.

Samuel Alan Marcosson, U.S. E.E.O.C., William J. Stone, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C. (Charles A. Shanor, General Counsel, Gwendolyn Young Reams, Associate General Counsel, U.S. E.E.O.C., Jerry G. Thorn, Acting Solicitor, Monica Gallagher, Associate Solicitor, Linda Jan S. Pack, Counsel for Appellate Litigation, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C., on brief), for defendants-appellees.

Before SPROUSE and CHAPMAN, Circuit Judges, and HOFFMAN, Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, sitting by designation.

SPROUSE, Circuit Judge:

The dispute underlying this appeal arose when the federal government sought to apply certain provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the Act or the FLSA) 1 to the Roanoke Valley Christian Schools (Roanoke Valley) operated by Shenandoah Baptist Church. The church and twenty-one intervening employees (Shenandoah) urge that the district court erred in awarding back pay for teachers (for equal pay violations) and for nonprofessional support staff (for minimum wage violations). Shenandoah asserts that Roanoke Valley is not covered by the FLSA; that application of the Act violates the free exercise and establishment clauses of the first amendment and the equal protection guarantee of the fifth amendment; and that, even if the Act does apply, the damages were improperly calculated. The government cross-appeals, contending that the trial court abused its discretion in declining to award prejudgment interest and in refusing to grant injunctive relief. We affirm the decision of the district court in all respects.

I. Facts

The Shenandoah Baptist Church was founded in 1971 as an independent Baptist church which trusts in the absolute authority of the Bible. Shenandoah asserts, and the government has not disputed, that the church views Christian education as a vital

Page 1392

part of its mission. Shenandoah believes the "Great Commission" of Matthew 28:19-20 requires the church to evangelize, baptize, and teach:

Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.

Shenandoah opened Roanoke Valley in 1973, with a full-time curriculum that included instruction in Bible study and in traditional academic subjects into which biblical material had been integrated. The school gradually expanded until, by 1977, it offered classes from kindergarten through high school. The teaching staff expanded accordingly, from twenty to about thirty teachers between 1976 and 1986, the years at issue in this case.

Roanoke Valley teachers received base salaries of about $6000 for the 1976 school year. Because this low salary level made it difficult to attract teachers, Shenandoah instituted a head-of-household salary supplement. Pastor Robert L. Alderman explained the basis for the supplement in this way:

When we turned to the Scriptures to determine head of household, by scriptural basis, we found that the Bible clearly teaches that the husband is the head of the house, head of the wife, head of the family.... We moved in that direction, thinking that our opportunity and responsibility of basing our practice on clear biblical teaching would not be a matter of question.

The supplement ranged from $1600 in the 1976-77 school year to $200 during the 1985-86 school year. By that time, base salaries had been increased to about $12,500, and the supplement was discontinued.

Between 1976 and 1986, all married male teachers received a salary supplement. Married women were not eligible to receive the supplement. It was not paid to a woman whose husband was a full-time graduate student, nor to a woman who raised two children on her teaching income after her husband, who had become disabled and mentally ill, left the family. Another mother of two who was separated from her husband was not paid the supplement for two years until her divorce became final. Between 1981 and 1986, three divorced female teachers who had dependents did receive the supplement. No woman received a supplement prior to 1981.

Also, between 1976 and 1982, ninety-one persons who worked at Roanoke Valley as support personnel were paid less than the hourly minimum wage. These workers included bus drivers, custodians, kitchen workers, bookkeepers, and secretaries.

II. Procedure

In 1978, the government brought this action, 2 alleging that Shenandoah had violated two aspects of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The government asserted that Shenandoah had paid Roanoke Valley support personnel less than the minimum wage and had paid female teachers less than male teachers performing the same job. 29 U.S.C. Secs. 206(a) and (d). 3 The complaint sought permanent injunctive relief and back pay with interest. The parties stipulated to many of the key facts. Shenandoah acknowledged that, between 1976 and 1982, support personnel were paid less than the statutory minimum wage. Shenandoah also conceded that, between 1976 and 1986, most full-time female teachers at Roanoke Valley were paid less than most full-time male teachers, although their "skill, effort, responsibility and working

Page 1393

conditions" were "substantially equal." But Shenandoah asserted that the school was not covered by the FLSA and that applying the statute to a church-run school like Roanoke Valley would be unconstitutional.

In 1983, the district court entered partial summary judgment in favor of the government on the minimum wage claim. 4 Donovan v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 573 F.Supp. 320 (W.D.Va.1983) (Shenandoah I ). The court concluded that Congress intended the Act to apply to church-run schools, that Shenandoah's nonprofessional support staff was not exempt from the statute's coverage, unlike members of recognized "religious orders," and that requiring Shenandoah to comply with the statute's minimum wage provisions would not violate the church's first amendment rights. Twenty-one of the nonprofessional staff members subsequently intervened to assert their own first amendment rights and to support Shenandoah's position.

The case was tried to the district court and a seven-member advisory jury in September 1988. Based on its holding in Shenandoah I and on the parties' stipulations, the court found that Shenandoah had violated the FLSA minimum wage requirement. The court ruled that the equal pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act also apply to Roanoke Valley and then posed two questions to the advisory jury. The panel found "that the female school teachers ... were paid less than the male teachers who were performing equal work" and that the salary differential was "not based on a factor other than sex." The district court adopted these findings in its subsequent opinion and rejected arguments by Shenandoah and the intervenors that application of the FLSA infringed their first and fifth amendment rights. Department of Labor v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 707 F.Supp. 1450 (W.D.Va.1989) (Shenandoah II ).

The trial court ordered Shenandoah to pay the government $16,818.46 in back pay to be distributed to the support staff members who were the subject of the minimum wage claim and $177,680 to be distributed to the teachers who were the subject of the equal pay claim. The court declined to award prejudgment interest. The court also refused to enjoin Shenandoah from violating the Act in the future or from soliciting employees for the return of back pay awards.

Both Shenandoah and the government appeal. Shenandoah urges that Roanoke Valley is not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. It insists that applying the Act here violates the free exercise and establishment clauses of the first amendment and the equal protection guarantee of the fifth amendment. Shenandoah also argues that the district court erred in its damage calculations by awarding back pay to single female teachers and by awarding back pay to support staff members without regard to whether their work was church-related or school-related. The government argues that the district court abused its discretion in refusing to award prejudgment interest on the back pay awards and in failing to grant injunctive relief. 5 We address these contentions seriatim.

I...

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  • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Nos. 13–354
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 30, 2014
    ...S.Ct. 1953, 85 L.Ed.2d 278 (1985), or according women equal pay for substantially similar work, see Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 899 F.2d 1389, 1392 (C.A.4 1990) ? Does it rank as a less restrictive alternative to require the government to provide the money or benefit to which the emp......
  • Catholic Charities v. Superior Court, No. C037025.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 2, 2001
    ...organization's self-definition in determining the coverage of employment regulation. (Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church (4th Cir.1990) 899 F.2d 1389, 1396 [rejecting religious school's Establishment Clause claim that it was entitled to religious exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act b......
  • Catholic Charities v. Superior Court, No. S099822.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 1, 2004
    ...105 S.Ct. 1953 [religious organization must comply with federal minimum wage laws]; Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church (4th Cir.1990) 899 F.2d 1389, 1393-1400 [religious school must comply with federal law requiring equal pay for men and women].) We see no reason why a different rule should ......
  • Smith v. Raleigh Dist. of N.C. Methodist Church, No. 5:98-CV-715-BR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • July 27, 1999
    ...F.3d 324 (3rd Cir.1993) (exception did not apply to lay teacher at church-operated elementary school); Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 899 F.2d 1389 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 846, 111 S.Ct. 131, 112 L.Ed.2d 99 (1990) (ministerial exemption from FLSA not applied to bar discrimina......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Nos. 13–354
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 30, 2014
    ...S.Ct. 1953, 85 L.Ed.2d 278 (1985), or according women equal pay for substantially similar work, see Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 899 F.2d 1389, 1392 (C.A.4 1990) ? Does it rank as a less restrictive alternative to require the government to provide the money or benefit to which the emp......
  • Catholic Charities v. Superior Court, No. C037025.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 2, 2001
    ...organization's self-definition in determining the coverage of employment regulation. (Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church (4th Cir.1990) 899 F.2d 1389, 1396 [rejecting religious school's Establishment Clause claim that it was entitled to religious exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act b......
  • Catholic Charities v. Superior Court, No. S099822.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 1, 2004
    ...105 S.Ct. 1953 [religious organization must comply with federal minimum wage laws]; Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church (4th Cir.1990) 899 F.2d 1389, 1393-1400 [religious school must comply with federal law requiring equal pay for men and women].) We see no reason why a different rule should ......
  • Smith v. Raleigh Dist. of N.C. Methodist Church, No. 5:98-CV-715-BR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • July 27, 1999
    ...F.3d 324 (3rd Cir.1993) (exception did not apply to lay teacher at church-operated elementary school); Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church, 899 F.2d 1389 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 846, 111 S.Ct. 131, 112 L.Ed.2d 99 (1990) (ministerial exemption from FLSA not applied to bar discrimina......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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