Attorney General Paxton has joined a cert-stage amicus brief led by West Virginia and Louisiana that argues the U.S. Supreme Court should take up Groff v. DeJoy, to strengthen religious liberty protections.
The case, which is in defense of a postal employee seeking to observe the Sabbath, offers an opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to reevaluate Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison (1977) and subsequent cases that stripped away much of the religious liberty protections set out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Title VII says that employees’ religious observances and practices must be accommodated by their employers, unless they impose “undue hardship” on the business. But Hardison defined “undue hardship” to mean any cost “more than a de minimis cost,” which in practice means that employees have no legal protection if their employer can demonstrate even a slight cost to accommodate their religious practices.
The amicus brief notes this effect and calls for a remedy: “[T]he Hardison standard has found its way into state-court decisions, bringing the same confusion and disregard for religious liberty that the federal courts struggled with first. This case is the right vehicle to consider that standard afresh, stop the damage it inflicts, and help ensure that no court—federal or state—applies it to an American employee again.”
To read the full brief, click here.