Religious discrimination becomes more difficult

At the end of June, 2023 the Supreme Court ruled on a case that strengthened the argument for religious accommodations for employees.

What does this mean for you as a worker?

For example, some workers belong to a religion that requires they not work on the Sabbath. The new ruling means if your employer has been denying you this right, you’re more likely to win a religious discrimination case.

What were the details of the case and ruling?

The name of the case that the Supreme Court ruled on was Groff v. DeJoy. Gerald Groff was a United States Postal Service (USPS) worker and an evangelical Christian. His observance of the Sabbath required not working on Sundays. Despite the fact that the USPS doesn’t deliver mail on Sundays, it has a contract with Amazon for Sunday deliveries. The USPS argued that it tried to have other employees cover Groff’s Sunday shift. However, the disciplinary actions it imposed for Groff’s absences intensified and led to Groff’s resignation.

In this case about religious accommodations for employees, how was undue hardship a factor?

The USPS claimed that Groff’s absence negatively impacted the employees filling in for him. It also claimed that the USPS was at risk for violating a collective bargain agreement. It claimed this was undue hardship.

However, the Supreme Court raised the bar on what determines undue hardship. Undue hardship would have to consist of substantial increased costs that affect a company’s ability to do business. Larger businesses are obviously more able to absorb costs than a small business.

(Reference: SHRM

Are you a victim of religious discrimination?

Some of the faith groups that this ruling could affect include Seventh-Day Adventists, Orthodox Jews and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Typically, these faiths do not allow members of their religion to work on the Sabbath.

An attorney can be your voice in the legal system and protect your rights.

Find out how the Law Office of Peter A. Romero can assist you. Throughout NYC including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Harlem/Upper Manhattan, clients turn to us for legal help. Call us at (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.