Monday, February 24, 2020

Supreme Court Denies Cert. In Title VII Religious Accommodation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied review in Patterson v. Walgreen Co., (Docket No. 18-349. certiorari denied 2/24/2020). In the case, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a suit alleging religious discrimination and retaliation, held that Walgreen had offered reasonable accommodations for the religious needs of a Seventh Day Adventist employee whose beliefs did not permit him to work on Saturday. (See prior posting). In a concurring opinion (full text) accompanying the denial of cert, Justice Alito, joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, said that in an appropriate case the Court should reconsider its holding in the Hardison case that an employer need accommodate an employee's religious observance only if it imposes no more than a de minimis hardship on the employer. They concluded however that "this case does not present a good vehicle for revisiting Hardison."