Justia Wisconsin Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Non-Profit Corporations
The Supreme Court of Wisconsin was asked to review a decision by the state's Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) and determine whether Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc. (CCB) and its four sub-entities were operated primarily for religious purposes, and thus exempt from making contributions to Wisconsin's unemployment insurance system. The Court decided that in determining whether an organization is "operated primarily for religious purposes" according to Wisconsin Statute § 108.02(15)(h)2, both the motivations and activities of the organization must be examined.Reviewing the facts of the case, the court determined that while CCB and its sub-entities professed to have a religious motivation, their activities were primarily charitable and secular. The services provided by the sub-entities, which included job training, placement, and coaching, along with services related to daily living, could be provided by organizations of either religious or secular motivations, and thus were not "primarily" religious in nature.The court also rejected CCB's argument that this interpretation of the statute violated the First Amendment, as it did not interfere with the church's internal governance nor examine religious dogma. Instead, it was a neutral and secular inquiry based on objective criteria. Therefore, the court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals. View "Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc. v. State of Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission" on Justia Law