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Neither snow nor rain, but Christian mail worker urges 3rd Circuit to make room for faith

January 25, 2022

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » Courthouse News Service

Tutunjian represents Gerald Groff, a Sabbatarian Christian who worked without issue for the U.S. Postal Service until March 2017 when the rural section of Pennsylvania that employed him began doing what many others had been doing since 2013: offering Amazon package delivery service in a bid to recoup decades of financial loss.

While the job of Sunday deliveries would usually fall to those like Groff who serve as rural carrier associates, or RCAs, Groff refused to work on Sundays given his religious beliefs.

Short-staffed and bound by a collective bargaining agreement that required RCAs to work in a Sunday rotation, Groff’s boss provided him with an accommodation that would let him be off on Sunday so long as he found someone to cover his shift.

After missing over two dozen of his assigned Sunday shifts, Groff resigned from his position in 2019 and sued that same year, arguing failure to properly accommodate his religious needs.

Last April a federal judge ruled in favor of the Postal Service, finding that shift swapping was a reasonable accommodation for Groff and the agency would suffer an undue burden if they let him skip his Sunday shifts.

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