Idaho’s attorney general on Thursday joined an amicus brief on a case coming before the supreme court regarding the religious rights of employees and the amount of accommodation these beliefs should receive.
In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case dealing with Gerald Groff, a former mail carrier for the United States Postal Service in Pennsylvania, who resigned when he did not receive accommodation to honor his religious beliefs, to not work on Sundays.
At first, to avoid disciplinary action for being unable to work on Sundays, Groff moved to an office that was not open on Sundays. He was again asked to work Sundays when that post office transitioned to Sunday work, at which Groff resigned and sued the USPS.
“It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of religion,” said Kelly Shackelford in a USA Today article, president and chief counsel for First Liberty, one of the firms representing Groff. “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.”
The case Shackelford refers to is Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison in 1977.
Even though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an employee’s religious rights, they noted that providing an accommodation imposing more than a minimal burden on the company’s operations would not be required.
Raul Labrador, Idaho’s attorney general, believes the USPS put an undue burden on Groff.
“We will always protect an individual’s right to practice and observe their faith,” Labrador said in a press release. “Irrespective of the religion practiced, celebrating your faith is a fundamental American freedom. We look forward to the Supreme Court reaffirming and strengthening religious liberties.”
Labrador said the case presents the U.S. Supreme Court with an opportunity to ensure religious employees of all faiths receive meaningful religious accommodations in the workplace.