The US Supreme Court is currently hearing the Gerald Grove case, which could have far-reaching implications for Christian workers in the United States. UCA News reported on Wednesday.
So-called Supreme Court justices on Tuesday heard arguments about the extent to which employers are obligated to observe the religious practices of their employees. The debate was prompted by the case of Christian Gerald Grove, who worked for the US Postal Service USPS. He didn’t want to take any Sunday shifts to keep Sunday off, but he was refused. He says that “no employee should choose between his faith and his profession, as I did.”
Grove claimed in federal court that the USPS failed to make reasonable concessions to its religious practices. He tried to get a job at the post office because no mail was delivered on Sunday. When this changed while he was working there, he applied for an amendment. The appeals court ruled in favor of the USPS, arguing that it would be “undue hardship” for the post office to comply with Groff’s request to be excused from the Sunday shift. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case earlier this year.
It also affects the religious freedom of Catholics
The Supreme Court’s decision also has implications for the religious freedom of Catholics. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “On Sundays and other holy days of service, the faithful are to abstain from all works and activities which promote the worship of God, rejoicing in the Lord’s day, the performance of works of mercy, and proper rest. The soul and spirit affect the body.”
The Catholic Church also teaches that this “requires concerted effort” and that both authorities and employers have a duty to “secure citizens a certain time for rest and divine worship”.
Religious precautions are not at the expense of other employees
Other voices argue that religious accommodations should not come at the expense of other employees who will then have to fill those shifts.
Federal law prohibits employers from firing employees who request religious facilities. The exception is cases where the employer can prove that these simplifications could not be “appropriately” granted without “unreasonable hardship”. According to a 1977 resolution, the criteria for “undue hardship” are met even at the lowest possible cost.
In this context, during the Supreme Court oral hearing, the question arose of whether such regulation would be possible for a large employer like USPS, but would be unreasonably burdensome for a small business that is open seven days a week.
(uca news – fg)
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