“it is a unanimous opinion, joined in full by the Court’s Democratic appointees, that does little more than repudiate a single line in a 1977 Supreme Court decision that virtually everyone thinks was a mistake.”
“the decision in Groff v. DeJoy announces a new rule that will govern employees who seek an accommodation for their religious beliefs from their employer. Because requests for such accommodations are fairly common, that means that Groff will likely lead to a rush of lawsuits, at least in the short term, as courts try to figure out how to apply Groff’s new rule to individual cases.
Groff’s new rule states that religious accommodation requests should be granted unless they impose a “hardship” on the employer that “would be substantial in the context of an employer’s business.” This highly flexible new rule might potentially be used by far-right judges to give religious conservatives an unfair upper hand in disputes with their employer’s human resources department. Such is the price of vague legal rules.
That said, the actual holding of Groff — that most requests for religious accommodations should be granted, and that an employer cannot dodge this obligation because it might impose minimal costs on the employer — is largely benign. Indeed, it is likely to benefit many employees who make reasonable requests for accommodations that might have been denied under an earlier, less employee-friendly rule.
It will be up to the Supreme Court, in other words, to ensure that Groff does not allow rogue judges to disrupt the workplace. But the actual legal rule announced by Groff is a sensible one that should be applied fairly by most judges.”