Separation of Church and Cubicle: Supreme Court Considers Increasing Burden on Employers
Background How far must employers go to accommodate their employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs? Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Groff v. DeJoy, a case that asks the Justices to answer this very question—and potentially alter employers’ accommodation obligations in the process. When Gerald Groff started working for the United State Postal…Read More
Workplace Religious Accommodation Ruling Expected from Supreme Court Soon
n April, the United State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Groff v. DeJoy, a case about religious accommodations in the workplace. Specifically, Groff centers around the issue of how great a burden an employer must bear in order to accommodate an employee’s sincerely held religious belief, observances, or practices. The Court will issue its ruling within the…Read More
Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Title VII Religious Accommodation Standard
On April 18, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Groff v. DeJoy, a case raising the issue of how great a burden an employer must bear in order to accommodate an employee’s religious belief or practices. By way of background, Title VII, as adopted in 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of…Read More
Second Circuit Rejects Claim of Employee Fired for Refusing to Attend Training Session on LGBTQ Bias
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has rejected an employee’s claim that he was unlawfully discriminated against based on religion after he refused to attend mandatory LGBTQ anti-discrimination trainings. In Zdunski v. Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, No. 22-547 (2d Cir. Mar. 13, 2023), the plaintiff sued his former employer, a public organization that…Read More
The EEOC Proposes Detailed New Enforcement Priorities For 2023-2027
On Tuesday, January 10, the EEOC released for public comment its draft 2023-2027 Strategic Enforcement Plan, or “SEP” (available here)—a document that will guide the Commission’s enforcement priorities for the next five years. The EEOC’s previously announced Strategic Plan described “how” it would pursue its enforcement goals. The Strategic Enforcement Plan, on the other hand,…Read More
Fired for Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine: Do They Get Unemployment?
An employee who is fired for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine – without showing entitlement to a legitimate religious or disability-related exemption – is likely to have a hard time collecting unemployment compensation benefits, two recent court rulings show. Though each state sets its own specific eligibility guidelines, these two rulings from Minnesota hinge…Read More
Should Your Workplace Require Flu Shots?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported the start of the most severe flu season in over a decade, leading employers of all types to decide whether they should mandate flu shots for their workforce. The flu season typically runs between October and May with a peak in January and February,…Read More
Employers Weigh Whether to Rescind Vaccination Policies
Now that the vaccine-or-testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been withdrawn, employers that have instituted mandatory vaccination or vaccine-or-testing policies are deciding whether to stay the course or backtrack. The U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked OSHA’s vaccine-or-testing rule, an ETS that applied to employers with at least 100…Read More
4 Steps for Handling Religious Objections to Workplace Vaccine Mandates
Employers generally must explore reasonable accommodations for employees who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus based on a sincerely held religious belief—but objections based on personal or political views are not protected under federal anti-discrimination laws. Many employers who implemented vaccine mandates have faced a tidal wave of requests for religious exemptions, according to…Read More
When May an Employer Reject a Religious Accommodation Request?
An employer that requires vaccinations against COVID-19 must grant sincere religious accommodation requests, so long as they don’t cause an undue hardship on the company. How can a business tell whether an objection to vaccination is based on a genuinely held religious belief and accommodate without creating an undue hardship? Since it is so hard…Read More