The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a postal worker’s religious liberty case, addressing the accommodation of religious practices in the workplace.
The case involved a Christian mailman’s request not to deliver parcels on Sundays due to religious observance.
The decision rejected a 1977 ruling that set the standard for accommodating religious practices, focusing on the interpretation of “undue hardship” for employers. (Trending: Donald Trump Gets Great News)
The case has implications for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and could potentially impact religious accommodations in the workplace.
“The government believes undue hardship arises whenever there is lost efficiency, weekly payment of premium wages, or denial of a coworker’s shift preference,” attorney Aaron Streett said.
“Thus, under the government’s test, a diabetic employee could receive snack breaks under the ADA but not prayer breaks under Title VII, for that might cause lost efficiency.”
The court’s decision may align with both right and left perspectives on religious liberty.
“A day off is not the special privilege of the religious. Days off, especially on the weekend, are when parents can spend the day with children who are otherwise in school when people can spend time on the other necessities of life, and when the community enjoys a common day of rest for churchgoers and the nonreligious alike,” the American Postal Workers Union noted.
“By allowing employers to refuse to accommodate employees’ beliefs for almost any reason, Hardison forces devout employees to make an impossible daily choice between religious duty and livelihood,” said the Muslim Public Affairs Council in a brief.
“This may be one of those religious liberty cases where the right and the left are actually aligned,” said law professor James Phillips.