The Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal from a former postal worker who was fired because his religious beliefs prevented him from working on Sundays.
In a statement sent to The Daily Wire, Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty, one of the businesses defending Groff, said, “It is unconstitutional for employers to discriminate against employees based on religion.” “The Supreme Court should revisit a judgment from the 1980s that gives more weight to the rights of businesses and the state than those of workers who want to exercise their religious beliefs,” said one advocate.
After searching for a job that wouldn’t require him to work on Sundays, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania resident Gerald Groff started with the United States Postal Service in 2012. Groff wants to observe the Christian Sabbath since doing otherwise would go against his convictions.
Groff decided to be transferred to a new branch, even though it affected his work position when the post office started delivering packages on Sundays for Amazon.
As a result, Groff needed a religious accommodation to continue observing the Sabbath on Sundays even though the mail was being delivered on those days by the post office. At first, the modification was made, and he was allowed to put in extra hours on other days. The postal service eventually provided him with no alternatives to working on Sundays.
Following his dismissal, Groff filed a lawsuit against the USPS (USPS).
In a judgment issued in May, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s verdict that favored USPS.
The appeals court “recognized that USPS submitted evidence” in several areas demonstrating “undue hardship,” as stated in the district court’s findings. It further claimed that allowing Groff to take Sundays off “was an excessive hardship” since the only other replacement carrier would have to work every Sunday without a break, even though substitutes are only hired “as required.”
Groff’s legal team petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case and resolve two questions.
One is concerned whether or not an employer can prove that a “requested accommodation” poses an “undue hardship” on their firm by putting the responsibility on the employee’s coworkers rather than the business itself.
They further argued that the Supreme Court should reconsider its judgment in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison (1977), which established the “more-than-de-minimis-cost standard” for denying requests for religious accommodation. The Supreme Court found that compelling the corporation to bear “more than a mere minimis expense” constituted an unreasonable burden.