U.S. Supreme Court Cases To Watch

Volume: 22 | Issue: 17
May 4, 2023

There are several cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that are important to employers. Stay tuned to the KZA Employer Report for updates on the following cases:

Groff v. DeJoy. This is a religious accommodation case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Here, a postal worker wanted an exemption from making private deliveries on Sundays due to his religious beliefs. The employer argued that this accommodation was an undue hardship because it created tension among employees and caused Gross’ coworkers to carry more than their share of the workload. The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the parameters of the undue hardship test for religious accommodation requests. Specifically, the Court will consider how much of a burden the accommodation must present to constitute an undue hardship and whether an employer can consider the accommodation’s impact on the employee’s coworkers. Groff wants the Court to change the religious accommodation standard to the hard-to-meet undue hardship standard used under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Murray v. UBS Sec., LLC. This is a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The issue is whether an employee must prove intentional retaliation or may use a lesser standard of proof showing that his/her whistleblowing was a contributing factor in the employer’s adverse action. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Nevada, has applied this lesser standard of proof. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected to have a broad impact upon numerous industry-specific whistleblower laws that mimic the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. Although this case is about commercial fishing, it may have an important impact on all businesses because the core issue relates to how much weight courts should give to federal regulations adopted by federal administrative agencies. When the Department of Labor (DOL), for example, issues regulations on how employers should apply the Fair Labor Standards Act, a court will generally defer to the administrative agency’s reasonable interpretation of the FLSA under what is called the Chevron doctrine. In the Loper Bright case, four New Jersey fishing companies want the Supreme Court to toss or clarify the Chevron doctrine, and the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear that issue.

As always, KZA attorneys are available to answer any questions you have about these pending cases. 

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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