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- The Supreme Court is to hear an appeal by a former mail carrier who is accusing the USPS of religious bias.
- Gerald Groff, an evangelical Christian, has said he was reprimanded for refusing to deliver parcels on Sundays.
- He left USPS in 2019 after he stopped showing up for work on Sundays.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by a former mail carrier accusing the US Postal Service of religious bias, Reuters reports.
“Rural carrier associate” Gerald Groff, an evangelical Christian from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has said he was reprimanded for refusing to deliver Amazon parcels on Sundays.
As per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers have to accommodate a worker’s religion unless it causes the business “undue hardship” – which the Supreme Court has previously ruled to be anything more than a minor cost, per Reuters.
Lower courts dismissed Groff’s claim that USPS violated the laws by refusing to give him each Sunday off, saying that doing so would “cause undue hardship” on the business, religious rights organization First Liberty reports.
Groff’s legal team appealed this ruling and has now succeeded in having it heard at the Supreme Court. Stephanie Taub, Senior Counsel at First Liberty, who supports Groff, said, “no American should be forced to choose between their religion and their job.”
When Groff joined the postal service in 2012, he did so with the understanding that it did not operate on Sundays.
However, in 2015, USPS started delivering packages for Amazon. NBC reports that accommodations were implemented for Groff until July 2018, when he was told he would sometimes have to pay parcels on Sundays if his shifts could not be swapped.
Reuters reports that Groff repeatedly did not show up for his Sunday shifts. His attitude caused resentment among his co-workers, with one carrier leaving their station and another quitting the Postal Service.
Groff received several disciplinary letters for not returning to work and resigned in 2019.