Diverse faith groups file amicus briefs supporting evangelical postal worker in SCOTUS religious accommodations case

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Many diverse individuals and faith groups that do not normally work together have filed joint amicus briefs in support of a religious accommodations case brought to the US Supreme Court by an evangelical postal worker who sued his employer for insisting he work on Sundays. The high court will hear the case in April this year.

The case was brought by Gerald Groff, a former US Postal Service worker who resigned his position after being told he had to deliver packages for Amazon on Sundays as required by the USPS collective bargaining agreement. Groff’s complaint is that, as an evangelical Christian, he should be allowed the full day off on Sundays to observe the “Sabbath.”

In considering Groff’s case, the Supreme Court will review the landmark 1977 case of Hardison, which has allowed employers to refuse religious accommodations that impose “more than a de minimis cost” on their business. 

Groff’s case will be closely followed by individuals and organizations concerned that current law has allowed employers too much leeway in refusing religious accommodations for their workers. Such accommodations include not only having a “Sabbath” day off but also exemptions from vaccine mandates and, in the case of Muslim women, being allowed to wear a hijab at work. Advocates have argued that employers use Hardison to unfairly refuse religious accommodations, especially to non-white minorities.

Among the many groups and individuals who filed amicus briefs is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Anti-Defamation League.

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