While all eyes were on what the Supreme Court would do over the abortion pill mifepristone, the justices reviewed another case of considerable weight in that very same week that slipped under the radar for most of us — one having to do with religious liberty. The central question: How far must employers go to accommodate the religious views of their employees?
The components are simple enough. The U.S. Postal Service delivers packages on Sundays, mostly Amazon packages. Full-time career employees, called “regulars” in the business, are not required to deliver them. That task falls to part-time workers called rural carrier associates, or RCAs.
Regulars work five days a week. RCAs fill in on the days regulars have off, which could be any of the six days the post office delivers mail, Monday through Saturday. Most regulars pick Saturday as their off day, but it could be any day of the week. With the advent of online shopping, Sunday package delivery became part of the postal workweek.
Problem: What if you are a deeply religious person who doesn’t work on the Sabbath?