Religion

News & Analysis as of

Losing My Religion: Do I Want to Know My Employee’s Beliefs?

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently updated employees’ guide to southern manners. Don’t worry, employees should still say “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.” But you know the old saying that you should never discuss politics...more

China Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - U.S.-China Relations - Chinese Embassy News - Energy & Environment - Trade - Excerpt from U.S.-China Relations: 2013 Report on International Religious Freedom...more

Hobby Lobby ripples still being measured

How can the controversial decision in the Hobby Lobby contraception coverage case impact employers? The U.S. Supreme Court in June decided the controversial case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The court ruled...more

The Hobby Lobby Decision and Religious-Based Exemptions

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling which held that a closely held, for-profit entity can object to certain aspects of the birth control mandate imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable...more

Benesch Perspectives - July 2014 Newsletter

In this issue: - Not-for-Profit Spotlight - Giving to Religion Trending Downward for a Decade - What You Can Learn from Giving 2014 - Is the Front Door Closing on the Parsonage...more

For-Profit Corporations Can Object to Federal Laws on Religious Grounds

The United Statutes Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision holds that for-profit closely held corporations can object, on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs, to the contraception mandate imposed by the Patient...more

Second Circuit Rules New York City’s Prohibition of Religious Services in School Facilities Constitutional

Recently, in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York[1], the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that...more

Labor & Employment E-Note

In This Issue: - High Court to Hear Case on Pregnancy Accommodations - Supreme Court Says Some Employees Don't Have to Pay Union Fees - Recent Decision Leaves Questions About Religion in Hiring Process - NLRB...more

Supreme Court: Some Corporations Can Opt Out of Obamacare’s Contraception Coverage Mandate

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that closely held for-profit corporations cannot be forced to comply with the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act’s...more

The Washington Supreme Court Mandates New Obligations for Employers Under State Law to Accommodate Employees’ Religious Beliefs

In a dramatic shift in Washington state law on accommodating religious beliefs, the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Kumar v. Gate Gourmet, Inc. recognized, for the first time, that the Washington Law Against...more

“Mark of the Beast” Claim Busts

In Yeager v. FirstEnergy Generation Corp., No. 5:14cv-567 (N.D. Ohio June 27, 2014), a plaintiff asserted a religious discrimination claim for refusal to hire. In the complaint, he alleged he was not hired because he refused...more

The Surprising Truth about Hobby Lobby's Effect in California

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely-held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S....more

New EEOC Guidelines Regarding Employers’ Obligations With Respect to Background Checks and Accommodation of Religious Dress and...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new guidelines that may impact the way employers conduct background checks and accommodate religious dress and grooming practices....more

Trademark Review - Ikea, Chanel, a Religious Mark, and Target (June 2014)

Ikea’s Fame Insufficient to Prevent Akea’s Registration for Unrelated Goods - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board held there was no likelihood of confusion between Opposer’s IKEA mark and Applicant’s AKEA mark for...more

High Court Will Hear Religious Exemption Case

As reported in an earlier post, entitled New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal, the Third Department recently held that the Town of Catskill improperly denied a pagan religious group a real...more

EEOC Sues United Health Programs of America and Parent Company for Religious Discrimination

Company Coerced Participation in Religious Activities and Fired Employees Who Opposed Them, Federal Agency Charges - NEW YORK - A Syosset, N.Y.-based health network violated federal law when it forced employees to take...more

For The Love Of G-D, Don't Say You Love Me

We have come to this in our workplaces, in the lyrics of Annie Lennox: “No more ‘I love you’s.” Please enjoy today’s guest post from one of your employees: I have difficulty getting close to people. I have trouble...more

Supreme Court Upholds Town’s Practice of Opening Board Meetings with Prayer

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a New York town’s practice of opening town board meetings with prayer did not violate the First Amendment. The decision provides guidance to school boards and other public bodies...more

Secret to Reasonable Accommodations for Religion: Be Reasonable

If there is a secret to avoiding or, if necessary, winning lawsuits involving employee requests for religious accommodations, it is this: be reasonable. Two recent federal appeals court rulings highlight this seemingly...more

Washington State Supreme Court's Decision on Religious Accommodation: What It Means for Employers

Employers in Washington should take note of last week’s decision from the Washington State Supreme Court holding that state law allows a claim for failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices. That...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - April 17, 2014

In This Issue: - Employers Face Increasing Number of Religious Bias Suits - Small Business Owners Concerned About Overtime Pay Requirements - Rising Number of Wage Theft Lawsuits Highlight Enforcement Issues -...more

Washington Grants Public Employees Two Days Off Per Year for Reasons of Faith or Conscience or Organized Religious Activities

In recognition that the holiday calendar for many religions is based on the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, the Washington State Legislature recently amended the statutory definition of “Legal holidays and...more

EEOC Issues Guidance for Employers on Accommodating Religious Dress and Grooming Practices

Religious diversity in the workplace is fast becoming a hot issue for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Accordingly, the agency answered questions about the application of federal employment discrimination...more

Federal Court Says New York City Schools Can Prohibit “Religious Worship” In School Facilities

As reported in the New York Times, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a school district could prohibit outside community groups from using school facilities for “religious services” without violating the...more

Religious Institutions Update - April 2014

Does a closely held for-profit corporation have a constitutionally or statutorily protected right to exercise religion under the Free Exercise Clause or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA)? The U.S. Supreme...more

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