U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Case Involving USPS Worker Who Says Religion Forbade Him From Working Sundays

The Supreme Court will be hearing the case of a former U.S. Postal Service worker who wants the justices to rule whether employers can deny religious accommodation requests, in a case that can affect Shomer Shabbos employees across the country.

Gerald Groff, who formerly worked as an auxiliary mailman in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area from 2012 to 2019, before he resigned, says the U.S. Postal Service could have granted his request that he be spared Sunday shifts based on his religious belief that it is a day of worship and rest.

Groff, who lost two lower court decisions, is now requesting of the court to make it easier for employees to bring religious claims under Title VII of the Civil Right Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination of various forms, including based on religion.

The two previous court decisions, including one by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sided with the Postal Service, ruling that accommodating Groff’s request would result in an “undue hardship” under the standard set in the Hardison case.

In the 1977 Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison case, the court determined that employers could deny a reasonable accommodation request made by an employee under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and based on their sincerely held religious beliefs if the accommodation results in an “undue hardship” on the employer.

Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled in the case.

 

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