Press Release

ADL Welcomes Supreme Court Decision in Religious Accommodations Case

New York, NY, June 29, 2023… ADL (The Anti-Defamation League) today welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision in Groff v. DeJoy, which strengthens protections for people of faith seeking religious accommodations in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision will make it possible to adequately enforce religious protections for employees in the workplace,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “People shouldn’t have to choose between their jobs and their faith,  It is particularly welcome for observant Jews whose religious practice requires them to wear religious clothing, maintain facial hair, and/or not work on certain Jewish holidays. Of course, like all religious freedoms, religious accommodations are meant to be a shield to protect people of faith and not a sword to justify discrimination against others. This Court ruling strikes the right balance.”

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to allow religious accommodations for employees unless doing so would constitute an “undue hardship” for the business.  Lower courts have interpreted the Supreme Court’s landmark 1977 decision in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison to mean that “undue hardship” is anything that imposes “more than a de minimis cost” for the employer, a very low standard that has made it difficult over the years for people of faith to actually obtain religious accommodations in the workplace.

In today’s ruling the Court appropriately clarified that this “de minimis” standard should be interpreted to mean something that would impose a substantial burden in the overall context of the employer’s business.  

ADL joined an amicus brief in support of petitioner Groff, an Evangelical Christian, in this case, drafted by the Kirton McConkie law firm. Signatories on the brief included the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals, and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.