The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard argument in Groff v. DeJoy, No. CV 19-1879, 2021 WL 1264030 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 6, 2021), aff’d, 35 F.4th 162 (3d Cir. 2022), a case dealing with religious accommodations for employees, which may have widespread implications for employers and employees throughout the country. This article provides an overview of the background of this case and a discussion of its potential impact on workplaces.
Background and History of the Case
This case grew out of a request by Gerald Groff, a former mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, not to work on Sundays due to his Christian beliefs. The USPS had entered into a contractual agreement with Amazon that involved making Sunday deliveries. Although initially permitted to be exempt from working on Sundays, the USPS encountered issues among other employees in carrying out this accommodation, including complaints from other employees and increased difficulties in the scheduling process. As such, the USPS required Groff to work on Sundays unless he could find a coworker to cover his shift. Groff ultimately resigned from his employment with the USPS in January 2019.