For Immediate Release: 3.1.23
Contact: Peyton Luke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Congress, Seventeen States Among Briefs Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Restore Religious Liberty in Workplace
Briefs urge Justices to enforce federal law that protects the right of American workers to honor Sabbath
Washington, D.C.–Several religious organizations, including the American Hindu Coalition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, members of Congress, and seventeen state Attorneys General are among thirty-three “friend-of-the-court” briefs in Groff v. DeJoy, urging the Supreme Court of the United States to restore the important protections for religious employees to what Congress intended before the courts watered down Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
“No one in America should have to choose between their faith and their paycheck,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support for our client and are hopeful the Supreme Court will protect the right of every American to live out their faith in the workplace without fear of getting fired.”
Groff is represented by First Liberty Institute, Baker Botts LLP, the Church State Council, and the Independence Law Center.
Groff v. DeJoy presents the Justices with the opportunity to re-evaluate the “de minimis” standard first expressed in TWA v. Hardison (1977) and reconfirm the language of Title VII, as passed by Congress, requiring an employer to accommodate an employee’s religion unless it would cause an “undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.”
In its brief, the American Hindu Coalition states, “Courts’ abandonment of Congress’s ‘undue hardship’ standard has been particularly troubling for members of minority religions, who cannot rely on prevailing cultural practices and conventions to carve out space for their unique religious practices. Traditionally, businesses closed or reduced their operations on Sundays and for major Christian holy days such as Christmas and Easter, eliminating the need for individualized accommodations. Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and other religious minorities, however, often cannot rely on either established norms or cultural familiarity.” Adding, “This Court should faithfully apply the ‘undue hardship’ standard as enacted by Congress so that it is consistent with the same or similar language in other statutes, recognizes that religious practice is a societal good, and requires employers to take affirmative steps to accommodate their employees’ needs.”
Links to all the briefs are available here.
About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.
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