Skip to main content

Groff v. DeJoy

Court: Supreme Court of the United States, No. 22-174
Case status: Resolved in Favor of the Petitioner, Gerald Groff
Center involvement: Amicus Curiae
Date of filing: February 28, 2023

Gerald Groff is a Christian who believes that keeping the Sabbath holy is his sacred obligation. For that reason, he chose to work at the U.S. Postal Service—which closed its offices on Sundays. But that changed in 2016 after the U.S. Postal Service contracted to deliver packages for Amazon, including on Sundays. The U.S. Postal Service argued it did not need to accommodate Groff’s religious practice due to Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, a 1977 case that weakened Title VII’s protections for religious employees. That case has been used to read Title VII’s “undue hardship” standard atextually as a “de minimis” standard.

Our brief describes original research of the Robertson Center that demonstrates that more than 80% of religious accommodation claims, like Groff’s, are brought by working-class Americans. Thus, the American working class suffers most as a result of Hardison’s atextual and erroneous reading of “undue hardship.” Our brief asks the Court to restore the protections provided by the plain language of Title VII before religious, working-class Americans suffer more harm.

Court Filings:
Link to Brief of Amicus Curiae the Robertson Center for Constitutional Law in Support of Petitioner

Articles and Scholarship:
J. Alex Touchet & Bradley J. Lingo, Failure to Accommodate: Assessing the Legacy of Trans World Airlines v. Hardison on Working-Class People of Faith, 31 George Mason Law Review Forum 1 (2023) (SSRN/GMLR Forum)