Sabbatarian Accommodation in the Supreme Court
WithBarbara J. Redman
Pages 29

The United States Supreme Court, in affirming, dealt only with the second prong, the primary effect test. Federal legislation mandates a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious practice. The Supreme Court has not decided the constitutionality under the First Amendment of this aspect of the legislation. The fundamental assumption in the Court’s analysis of the facts, and arguably a fundamental error, was that the term “Sabbath” in the Maryland statute had lost its purely religious connotation. Probably the main reason the US Supreme Court has ruled against non-accommodation requests and attempts has been the existence of the Establishment Clause in the Constitution. The Court particularly objected to the absolute nature of the right not to work on the Sabbath; the statute had made no exceptions for employers’ special needs or for where the accommodation of religious observance proves infeasible.