Do You Know What The “Hardison Standard” Is And How It Affects Your Religious Liberties?

Jewish groups have come to the defense of an Evangelical Christian postal worker who claims he was forced out of his job for refusing to work Sundays, the Christian day of the sabbath.

A joint amicus brief filed last Tuesday by the American Jewish Committee and religious scholars Asma Uddin and Steven Collis asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of Gerald Groff, who began working for the U.S. Postal Service in 2012 and accused his former employer of refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for his religious practices.

Groff claimed that he was forced to resign from his job in 2019 because USPS would not “honor [his] personal religious beliefs.”

After the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Groff last year, the Supreme Court will hear the postal worker’s case, Groff v. DeJoy, on April 18.

…Groff is asking the court to reconsider a ruling in the 1977 case Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, which set limits for the accommodations employers are required to make for religious employees on the Sabbath.

The brief supported by the American Jewish Committee argues that the interpretation of “undue hardship” in Hardison permits employers to escape liability and avoid any need to accommodate even the “most modest needs” of their religious employees under Title VII. As the brief noted, the act was amended in 1972 to protect employees that practice the Sabbath on Saturdays and other religious minorities.

Furthermore, the brief stated that religious discrimination still exists within the American workplace by allowing employers to claim “undue hardship” under the Hardison standard. The brief argues that the standard is particularly harmful to minorities, including Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Seventh-day Adventists.

Despite comprising only 5% or 6% of the U.S. population, these groups bring over 65% of religious discrimination cases, of which two-thirds result in claimants losing in appellate courts due to the Hardison standard, according to the brief. Read more»

Samantha Kamman “Jewish Groups Defend Christian Postal Worker At Center Of Supreme Court Sabbath Case” | March 8, 2023


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