Supreme Court Rules in Support of Religious Accommodations in Workplaces

June 29, 2023

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 9-0 in support of employees seeking religious accommodations in workplaces.

In the case of Groff v DeJoy, Christian Evangelical postal worker Gerald Groff asserted that rules mandating he work on Sundays came in conflict with his religious beliefs. 

Groff sued the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming USPS failed to reasonably accommodate his religion because shift swaps did not fully eliminate the conflict.

Under Title VII, employers must make allowances for a worker’s religious observance or practices unless that would cause the business “undue hardship.”

In 2013, the USPS contracted with online shopping giant Amazon to deliver packages including on Sundays in a bid to remain profitable. Groff had failed to report for Sunday shifts.

The Supreme Court took up his case, in which the the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had earlier ruled found that Groff’s absenteeism had, in fact, placed an undue hardship on his co-workers and employer. 

In its unanimous ruling, the nine Supreme Court Justices directed the 3rd Circuit to reconsider its earlier ruling. 

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