The plaintiff in this case was a Catholic seminarian who attended a training program at a church in Marysville, Washington.?? The plaintiff claimed that in addition to his religious duties he also performed maintenance work for the church for which he was not paid overtime in violation of the Washington Minimum Wage Act.? ?Judge Martinez held the First Amendment?s ?ministerial exception? prevented recovery. ?The Ninth Circuit affirmed.? ?The panel held that both the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause mandated? ?a? ?religious? ?exception.???? ?The? ?court concluded that failing to recognize such an exception would result in excessive entanglement between the state and the church.? ?The court rejected ?the ?plaintiff?s ?claim? that ?the ?church prove that paying overtime wages would burden the church?s beliefs.
The? court? refused? to? separate? the plaintiff?s ministerial from non-ministerial duties on the basis that this too would cause excessive entanglement with religion.?? The court rejected the D.C. and Fourth Circuit tests that a court examine the employees? ?primary duties? to determine ?whether ?he? or ?she ?is? ?minister.? Instead, the court held that if a person (1) is employed by a religious institution, (2) was chosen for the position based largely on religious criteria; and (3) performs some religious duties and responsibilities, the employee is a minister. Alcazar v. The Corporation of the Catholic Archbishop of Seattle, No. 09-35003, (3/16/10)( Beezer, Gould, Tallman).