Recent Supreme Court Decision is Praised for Protecting Religious Employees from Union Coercion
On June 29, 2023, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on Groff v. DeJoy, in which USPS mail carrier Gerald Groff filed a lawsuit against USPS for terminating his employment over how he observed Sabbath in line with his Christian confession. The Court issued a unanimous ruling in favor of Groff, and strengthened the standard employers must comply with regards to providing accommodations to employees with strong religious convictions.
Staff attorneys at the National Right to Work Foundation filed an amicus brief in the case for University of Detroit professor Dr. Robert P. Roesser, who refused to pay union dues because it pursued activities that went against his religious convictions. The Supreme Court’s decision featured several aspects of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys’ arguments.
National Right to Work Foundation Vice President Patrick Semmens made the following statement with respect to the Groff ruling:
The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court today in Groff is a positive step for the workplace rights of employees across the country who object to union affiliation on religious grounds. As encouraged to do in the brief filed by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, the Court rejected the standard in Hardison that allowed employers and union bosses to refuse to accommodate, and in some instances even fire, religious employees if union bosses alleged such accommodations would upset the union’s monopoly power in the workplace. Instead, the Court affirmed that employees must be accommodated unless it imposes a substantial hardship on the employer’s business, and employers and unions must consider all reasonable options for doing so – a protection that applies to workers who object to funding a union on religious grounds.
Despite many union bosses’ beliefs to the contrary, union officials’ desire for uniform control in the workplace should not trump workers’ religious freedom. Workers should not be forced to fund union activities that they believe to be sinful. We encourage workers who object to funding or being associated with a union they oppose on religious grounds to contact us for free legal aid to defend their legal rights.
The National Right to Work Committee is one of the few organizations that has made tangible legislative progress on economic freedom in the United States. Its efforts have ended union coercion in over half of the country.
If the American Right wants to achieve legislative success, it should study this organization’s legislative successes.