After receiving a case of religious discrimination at work, the High Council analyzes the amendment of the law on religious rights in the workplace. According to that law, passed in 1964 and amended in 1972, religious discrimination in the workplace is prohibited and employers are required to search adapt to the beliefs of its employeesas long as it does not create an “unnecessary burden” on its business.
The case that sparked the legal debate was that of a Christian delivery driver, who began delivering packages for the United States Postal Service (UPS) in 2012. After his office began delivering packages on Sundays, under a contract between UPS and Amazon, Gerald Groffe asked not to work that day because of his religious beliefs preventing you from working on the seventh day of the week.
“The United States Postal Service seemed like a perfect fit. Not only could I drive the back roads of my childhood, but I’ve been known to make no deliveries on Sundays. I could have a good career and celebrate the Lord’s day,” Groffe said in an interview.
His bosses transferred him to another office, but in 2017 the need for Groffe to work on Sundays arose again. Because he was absent when the company needed, the employee was punished.
Gerald Groff’s battle with the Post Office – which alleged that Groff’s requests to take all Sundays off resulted in unreasonable burdens on his colleagues – has made amends in the Supreme Court https://t.co/hyH7GQ0wOE pic.twitter.com/qJz5nd1w2s
—TIME (@TIME) April 18, 2023
“Either I transgress God’s commandment to me and honor the day of the Lord by keeping it holy, or I honor it and entrust the outcome to him. On the brink of my ideal career, I gave up all my seniority because I didn’t want to sacrifice my hopes of becoming a full-time employee at the prospect of rejecting God’s decree, even if it meant working just one day of the Lord “, he said.
“The Post’s response was brutal. I felt attacked for almost two years. Instead of respecting my religious beliefs, the Post chose to use me as an example. Postal management sent me to eight different “predisciplinary talks” at the main post office. Each took up about two hours of my workday, and I still had to complete all my routes, and without paying overtime,” the prosecutor added.
He resigned in 2019 and filed a lawsuit against UPS for religious discrimination. After losing at first instance and on appeal, appealed to the Supreme Court.
Now the nine judges that make up this entity, six of them conservative, will review Groffe’s case and analyze the law on religious discrimination. Groffe asked the Supreme Court to review the issue, saying the existing standard amounted to a “shocking error”.
On the other hand, employers are asking to reconsider the consequences they take when complying with employees’ religious expectations. The AFL-CIO, the main union federation in the United States, urged the court to do so consider the “burden” imposed by a colleague’s religious adjustments not only for the employer, but also for the rest of the employees.
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