“It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of religion,” Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty, one of the firms representing Groff, said in a press release provided to The Daily Wire. “It’s time for the Supreme Court to reconsider a decades old case that favors corporations and the government over the religious rights of employees.”
In 2012, Gerald Groff began working for the United States Postal Service in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, after looking for a job that wouldn’t make him work on Sundays. In accordance with his religious beliefs, Groff wanted to keep the Christian Sabbath.
The post office began package delivery on Sundays for Amazon, leading Groff to decide to be moved to a different branch, although it hurt his employment standing.
The post office then began to make deliveries on Sundays, so Groff requested a religious accommodation in order to keep the Sabbath on Sunday. At first, he was given the accommodation and permitted to work more on other days. The postal service then only gave him options that would still make him work on Sundays.
Groff stepped down and sued the United States Postal Service (USPS).
In a May ruling, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court’s findings favoring USPS.
According to the appeals court’s decision, a district court “found that USPS provided evidence” in various areas showing “undue hardship.” It also said giving Groff Sundays off “was an undue hardship” in part because it would make the sole other substitute carrier work all Sundays with no time off, even though those workers work “as needed.”
One was regarding if an employer can show that there is “undue hardship” on their business because a “requested accommodation” places a burden on a worker’s co-workers instead of the business.
They also asked the Supreme Court to question if it should “disapprove” a prior decision made in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison (1977) wherein the “more-than-de-minimis-cost test” was established for not granting religious accommodations. In that case, the high court essentially ruled that an undue hardship amounted to making a company take on “more than a de minimis cost.”