USA Will Christians Soon Have the Right Not to Work

USA: Will Christians Soon Have the Right Not to Work on Sundays? Vatican News German

The US Supreme Court is currently considering the Gerald Groff case, which could have far-reaching implications for Christian workers in the United States. The news agency “UCA News” reported on Wednesday.

Justices of the so-called Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments about the extent to which employers are required to take into account the religious practices of their employees. The trigger for the debate is the case of Christian Gerald Groff, who worked for the American postal service USPS. He didn’t want to do any shifts on Sundays to keep Sunday rest, but he was refused. He says “no employee should have to choose between their faith and their career like I did.”

Groff alleged in federal court that the USPS failed to offer him reasonable concessions for his religious practices. He tried to get a job at the post office because no mail was delivered there on Sundays. When that changed during his employment there, he requested an adjustment. An appeals court ruled in favor of the USPS, arguing that it would be “undue hardship” for the post office to honor Groff’s request to exempt him from the Sunday shift. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case earlier this year.

Also affecting the religious freedom of Catholics

The Supreme Court decision also has implications for the religious freedom of Catholics. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “On Sundays and other holy days of duty, the faithful are to abstain from all work and activities that promote the worship of God, rejoicing in the Lord’s day, doing works of mercy, and adequate rest. spirit and soul affect the body”.

The Catholic Church also teaches that this “requires a concerted effort” and that both authorities and employers have a duty to “guarantee citizens an appointed time for rest and divine worship”.

Religious precautions not at the expense of other employees

Other voices argue that religious accommodations should not come at the expense of other employees who would have to fill those shifts.

Federal law prohibits employers from firing employees who request religious facilities. An exception is cases where the employer can prove that these simplifications cannot be “adequately” granted without “unreasonable hardship”. According to a 1977 ruling, the “undue hardship” standard is met even at minimal cost.

In this context, during the Supreme Court oral hearing, the question arose as to whether such regulation is possible for a large employer like the USPS, but would place an excessive burden on a small seven-day-a-week business.

(UCA news – fg)