A recent Supreme Court ruling may make it difficult for employers to prove whether an employee’s religious accommodation request causes an undue burden on their business. Read on to discover more about the Supreme Court ruling on religious liberty in the workplace and how a seasoned New York discrimination lawyer at Bell Law Group can help protect you.
What is the Supreme Court ruling on religious liberty in the workplace?
On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court established that federal antidiscrimination law now requires employers to show that “the burden of granting an [religious] accommodation would result in substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of its particular business.” They further claimed that “courts must apply the test in a manner that takes into account all relevant factors in the case at hand, including the particular accommodations at issue and their practical impact in light of the nature, size, and operating cost of an employer.” Notably, this was a unanimous decision.
The Court reassured that their clarifying decision should not significantly affect the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance on religious liberty. More specifically, the EEOC may still hold the following as true:
- The EEOC may still hold that it is not an undue hardship for an employer to incur temporary costs for a religious accommodation.
- The EEOC may still hold that it is not an undue hardship for an employer to incur minor administrative costs for a religious accommodation.
- The EEOC may still hold that it is not an undue hardship for an employer to allow voluntary or occasional shift swapping for a religious accommodation.
How might this ruling affect me?
If your employer has at least 15 employees working for their business, then you may qualify for religious liberty so long as it does not create an undue hardship. With this, you must ensure that your employer is complying with this recent Supreme Court ruling. You may do so by taking the following initiatives:
- You may ask your employer to train managers and the Human Resources department on how to apply this new ruling to the workplace.
- You may ask your employer to adjust any company policies, practices, and written materials to abide by this new ruling.
- You may ask your employer to reconsider any accommodations that were denied before this new ruling.
And if your employer refuses to make any of these reasonable accommodations for you, then you may have an employment discrimination claim on your hands. There is no time like the present to get your legal matter in order. This is especially because the statute of limitations for this claim is set at three years in New York State. So pick up the phone and call a competent New York employee rights lawyer at Bell Law Group today. We are looking forward to it.