Wednesday, August 20, 2014

9th Circuit: State Can Require Care Workers To Accompany Disabled Clients To Religious Services

In Williams v. State of California, (9th Cir., Aug. 19, 2014), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the district court's opinion in concluding that the rights of two residential care facilities and their employees were not infringed when, under state law, employees were required to personally accompany a developmentally disabled client to attend Jehovah’s Witness services. The court rejected the argument that this infringed free exercise rights and the establishment clause by requiring Catholic employees to violate their religious beliefs by attending non-Catholic religious services. Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.