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Supreme Court Rules Employers Must Observe Employee's Religious Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court of the United States made a unanimous decision in favor of former postal carrier Gerald Groff. Groff had lost his job with the United States Postal Service due to his observance of the Sunday Sabbath. The decision enhances legal safeguards for employees who are seeking religious accommodations, such as making schedule adjustments to observe holy days. The decision has a broad impact on employment rights in workplaces with a minimum of 15 employees across all states in the country.

According to the Supreme Court's ruling, federal law mandates that workplaces must provide accommodations for their religious employees, unless such accommodations would result in substantial difficulty or expense for the business. In the past, employers had the ability to deny religious accommodations to employees based on minor or insignificant effects. 

This decision implies that a larger number of employers will have a legal obligation to provide accommodations to their religious employees, thereby respecting their religious beliefs. Some employees may request religious accommodations in order to observe their holy days, take prayer breaks, dress in accordance with their religious beliefs, or avoid situations that conflict with their religious convictions while at work.


This victory is considered significant, not just for Gerald, but for all Americans. According to Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty, it is undesirable for any American to face a situation where they have to make a difficult choice between their religious beliefs and their employment. She says the Court's decision reinstated religious freedom for all Americans in the workplace. She says she expects this decision to have a positive impact on a significant number of Americans, including current workers as well as future generations.

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Gerald Groff expressed gratitude for having his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and for their decision to uphold religious liberty. He expressed hope that this decision will enable individuals to uphold their convictions without the concern of job loss due to their beliefs.

Aaron Streett, a Partner at Baker Botts LLP, argued Groff's case before the Justices. He expressed satisfaction with the Court's recognition of the importance of religious pluralism and the protection of religious liberty rights for all employees in America. He said America has a history of implementing measures to prevent discrimination based on religious beliefs in the workplace, and that this decision aligns with the historical context and is seen as a significant victory for individuals who practice their faith.

According to Randal Wenger of the Independence Law Centre, it was acknowledged by the Court that the previous Hardison standard was unworkable. He further says it is acknowledged that the Justices have ruled in favor of ensuring equal opportunity and fair treatment for all employees in the workplace.

According to Alan Reinach from the Church State Counsel, restoring the focus of Title VII on protecting religious employees is believed to protect individuals of all faiths from discrimination. He said today's decision enhances legal protections for employees who request religious accommodations and impacts employment rights at all workplaces with a minimum of 15 employees in every state across the nation. Today marks a significant day for religious liberty in our nation.

The Court sent Gerald Groff's case back to the appellate court for further consideration, taking into account the new legal standard.

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