Can Christians Claim Religious Accommodations?

The option for Christians to claim religious accommodations at work is very pertinent as the US Supreme Court is currently deliberating on the cast of Gerald Groff. Groff is a US Postal worker who eventually resigned after refusing to work on Sunday due to his faith convictions.

The current law bars employers from firing workers for practicing their religion unless the employer can show that the worker’s religious practice cannot “reasonably” be accommodated without “undue hardship.” The degree of undue hardship has been decided by the Court before.

No legal precedent is set until this ruling is handed down later this summer. But, employers are taking note, and the Wall Street Journal recently reported that some are beginning to include religious concerns in their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs (DEI).

The Religious Freedom and Business Foundation issues a report each year on corporate Religious Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (RDEI). However, this view of religion is not necessarily the same as Evangelical Christianity.

In addition to Christians, two of the religious groups who report high levels of workplace discrimination are Muslims and Jews. The “study found that Jewish and Muslim employees often felt targeted as part of their religious communities, whereas evangelicals were more often derided for perceived intolerance or narrow-mindedness.

Even within religious discrimination, the experience of Christians remains particular to our conviction about biblical truth.  We must be aware of the motivations in our hearts as we stand up for our beliefs and rights as Christians.

Christians Can Claim Religious Accommodations

Such awareness is not the answer to believers’ concerns, nor should we place our hope in government or business leaders to do what honors God. However, these changes create the opportunity to at least raise the question when you are asked to do something inconsistent with your beliefs.

I know of situations where employees have been successfully reassigned after stating their discomfort with performing their duties based on their religious beliefs.

Another, perhaps more positive development is that some companies offer “faith-based “colleague networks” for Christians, Muslims and Jews, alongside those for Black employees, veterans, LGBT people and other groups.”

While some Christians may feel that forming such a group undermines the distinctive claims of Christ, others may find them a source of encouragement, fellowship, and mutual support.

Again, each situation requires discernment, and all situations have no clear path. We can watch and pray for the upcoming Supreme Court decision in the case of Gerald Groff. If we can pray for you, please let us know.