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Supreme Court weighs religious-freedom case of Christian postal worker

Gerald Groff began working as a U.S. Postal Service mailman in rural Pennsylvania without being obligated to work on Sundays. However, this changed when the USPS entered into an agreement with Amazon in 2012 to deliver packages even on Sundays. Groff, who is a devout evangelical Christian, declined to work on Sundays, leading to a contentious situation. Eventually, he resigned from his job and sought legal representation to uphold his legal entitlement to religious freedom. The case is now being heard by the Supreme Court and the situation appears to be in favor of Groff as there are indications that he is likely to receive backing from a majority of the justices.

National Catholic Register reports:

When Gerald Groff first took a job as a mailman for the U.S. Postal Service in rural Pennsylvania, he was not required to work on Sundays. Amazon changed that. In 2012, the USPS signed a contract with the online giant to deliver packages on Sundays. Groff is a strict evangelical Christian. He refused, things turned nasty, and he left his job and asked lawyers to defend his statutory right to religious freedom.

Now, the case is with the Supreme Court, and the indications are that a majority of the justices will support Groff.

At first, Groff’s postmaster delivered the packages himself on Sundays. But other USPS employees were annoyed at Groff’s so-called special treatment. He was offered compromises, some of which displayed a startling ignorance of his straightforward beliefs: for example, a suggestion that he could observe the Sabbath on a different day of the week. Of course, he turned them down. His accommodation was withdrawn; and when he failed to show up for Sunday shifts, he was disciplined.

After he resigned in 2019, Groff went to court, pointing to the USPS’ obligations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — the federal law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on religion and requires employers to accommodate an employee’s religious observance or practice unless it places an undue hardship on the employer’s business.

Read the full article here.

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