Saturday Morning Tab Clearing

Some stories worth noting but not at great length.

Having perused the day’s news, nothing inspires me to write a long post. Here are a handful of recent stories that I find interesting but not quite interesting enough.

NBC News, “Supreme Court takes up Christian postal worker’s religious claim.”

The upshot: Gerald Groff, an auxiliary postman whose “job was to fill in when other workers were not available, including on weekends and holidays,” claims “the U.S. Postal Service could have granted his request that he be spared Sunday shifts based on his religious belief that it is a day of worship and rest.”

My take: I must say, I’m getting tired of this whole category of cases. People have a right to practice their religious beliefs freely. They don’t have a right to impose them on the rest of us or on their employers.

Axios, “The GOP’s 2024 freeze

The upshot: “Questions about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political resilience — and fears of going toe-to-toe with former President Trump — have all but frozen the 2024 Republican field, delaying most of the leading prospects’ timelines for entering the race.”

My take: How the hell are you going to be the leader of the free world and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of a global superpower if you’re afraid of a little competition?

WaPo, “Single-use coffee pods have surprising environmental benefits over other brewing methods

The upshot: “In some cases, emissions from brewing a cup of joe in an old-school filter coffee maker can be roughly 1½ times as much as using a pod machine, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi in Canada.”

My take: This is some lazy-ass analysis. Surely, greenhouse gas emissions aren’t the most significant environmental impact of pods? Beyond that, pod coffee tastes terrible.

Axios Des Moines, “No more sliced cheese, white rice under proposed Iowa SNAP bill

The upshot: “Iowa House Republicans are proposing restrictions on the state’s SNAP benefits that could dramatically limit what foods recipients can get at the store.”

My take: I almost always avoid clickbait stories about bills some yahoo proposed in a state legislature other than my own. That said, I can remember when it was Democrats who wanted a nanny state that told people what they’re allowed to eat. Granted, to the extent that SNAP/WIC is “meant to be a supplemental nutritional aid for women, infants and children,” it makes sense to subsidize nutritious foods, specifying what type of rice, bread, and beans they’re allowed to buy is demeaning.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    I’m getting tired of this whole category of cases. People have a right to practice their religious beliefs freely. They don’t have a right to impose them on the rest of us or on their employers.

    Indeed. If your job conflicts with your religion, get a different job or a different religion. Either is easy enough to come by with unemployment under 4%. However, the current Supremes may feel otherwise.

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  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Me thinks @James got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning 🙂 Ah yes, he’s in his 50’s and no longer has f&cks to give.

    Gotta admit, I agree with your statements on all these tabs.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    They don’t have a right to impose them on the rest of us or on their employers.

    There is no freedom of religion unless their is freedom from religion.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    specifying what type of rice, bread, and beans they’re allowed to buy is demeaning.

    SOP for the GOP.

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  5. Mimai says:

    Postal story:
    The fact that it’s a govt job does complicate things, no? To be sure, this specific case strikes me as silly. And still, I think the broader issue isn’t so simple.

    GOP story:

    My take: How the hell are you going to be the leader of the free world and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of a global superpower if you’re afraid of a little competition?

    This seems off to me. Especially the last part (“if you’re afraid of a little competition”). I understand the impulse to taunt, it’s just that…

    Coffee story:

    The upshot: “In some cases, emissions from brewing a cup of joe in an old-school filter coffee maker can be roughly 1½ times as much as using a pod machine, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi in Canada.”

    Bold text added by me to highlight a common and frustrating tactic in the media.

    SNAP story:
    (sigh)

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  6. charon says:

    My take: How the hell are you going to be the leader of the free world and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of a global superpower if you’re afraid of a little competition?

    My take: even Sun-Tzu might support being careful about when or whether to engage.

    “Questions about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political resilience — and fears of going toe-to-toe with former President Trump — have all but frozen the 2024 Republican field, …

    Competitively, this seems advantageous from a DeSantis POV, no?

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: I’m in agreement with the sentiment, but my my eternal devil’s advocate that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear says, “So if a job policy dictates headwear or lack of it, are we okay that employers can use that to keep out devout Muslims? Can we prohibit Sikhs from being employed as police?” (Judging by the Sikhs I’ve known, we would better off if all police were Sikhs.)

    Years ago, when such cases were winding their way through the courts I remember having conversations about how any legislation to promote fairness and inclusivity had to be crafted very carefully, because they would apply to everyone.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: While I entirely agree with you, I fear the current SCOTUS may feel protections extend only to those religions “deeply rooted” in our history or some such “Originalist” nonsense. I somehow suspect Catholic Alito’s history carefully cherry picks around our long and deep tradition of anti- Catholicism.

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    Re: the SNAP story: no one is asking me, but I think an effective way to combat the modern GOP is to focus on what a bunch of busybodies they are, constantly sticking their nose in everyone’s business. I honestly think that was a large part of the reason gay rights advanced so quickly in the US , once it got rolling. I don’t remember a lot of arguments from civil rights leaders about being gay in and of itself but rather about whether or not it was anyone else’s business, and I think that appealed to a lot of people who were ambivalent or even hostile to “the gay lifestyle”.

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  10. Jen says:

    Granted, to the extent that SNAP/WIC is “meant to be a supplemental nutritional aid for women, infants and children,” it makes sense to subsidize nutritious foods, specifying what type of rice, bread, and beans they’re allowed to buy is demeaning.

    Not to mention that, in their zeal to prevent the whole “SNAP beneficiary loading their cart up with steak” false narrative, the Iowa GOP is also suggesting SNAP recipients be banned from purchasing any fresh meats, relegating them to canned products.

    Which are generally full of sodium and while they are a viable option in moderation, fresh meats are preferred from a nutritional standpoint.

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    Re SNAP, the cruelty is the point.

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  12. mattbernius says:

    @gVOR08:

    Re SNAP, the cruelty is the point.

    Yeah, as I am now working on SNAP this is very much the case.

    I will probably have a post on it later today or tomorrow. The next few years are going to most likely get progressively uglier around this topic.

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  13. Andy says:

    On religious accommodation, I don’t really know the details of the situation, but generally, title 7 requires reasonable religious accommodations. Historically that has meant giving people time off to attend religious services and giving important religious holidays off with exceptions needing to be justified due to reasons of “undue hardship” on the employer. So my sense based on not knowing the facts of this situation is that this postal worker should get the opportunity to attend services on Sunday but not get the entire day off.

    How the hell are you going to be the leader of the free world and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of a global superpower if you’re afraid of a little competition?

    I don’t think I take the characterization in that story at face value. Is there, in reality, a GoP freeze? Or is it that potential candidates are waiting to see how things play out before jumping into a campaign – after all, anyone who wants to compete for high office needs to think strategically?

    And the same thing could be said with Biden and his potential challengers. Are the people who think Biden is too old and want to be President being wimps for not jumping into the ring now?

    The whole thing seems pretty silly. This stuff will shake out over the next year.

    This is some lazy-ass analysis. Surely, greenhouse gas emissions aren’t the most significant environmental impact of pods? Beyond that, pod coffee tastes terrible.

    The thing I learned today – Joyner is a coffee snob! 😉

    On SNAP, my view is there should be few restrictions except for alcohol and cigarettes. At some point, you have to trust people, and efforts to nanny-state people into compliance are usually a waste of time in that they raise compliance costs and complexity without actually solving the problem they are supposed to solve. One has to accept that some recipients will use the benefit unwisely.

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy:

    So my sense based on not knowing the facts of this situation is that this postal worker should get the opportunity to attend services on Sunday but not get the entire day off.

    I think the complicating factor is, according to the excerpt, the express purpose of the position is as a flexible fill-in when other employees are off, on vacation, etc.

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  15. In re the postal guy: don’t take a job that inherently involved Sundays and religious holidays if you don’t want to work on those days.

    Plus, unlike some religious traditions, most versions of Christianity in the US don’t have strict observance of no work on the Sabbath.

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  16. steve says:

    If he knew the job involved weekends he should not be accommodated unless it can be done without negative effects on other workers. A recurring problem I have seen is that giving people their accommodation causes harm to others but the person getting accommodated doesnt want to have to make that up since they are entitled to their time. I run a 24/7 service with lots of call so I have a point system set up. Weekends net you higher points. If you can work weekends you end up doing a lot more weekdays. Really a lot. Takes care of the issue.

    Steve

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  17. Jen says:

    In re the postal guy: don’t take a job that inherently involved Sundays and religious holidays if you don’t want to work on those days.

    This is precisely what bothered me about this. As an *auxiliary* postal worker, the job he applied for is specifically to provide coverage when other workers are not available. IMHO, this is like applying to be a substitute teacher and then getting annoyed that you keep getting called at the last minute to fill in. It’s beyond daft.

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  18. BugManDan says:

    Granted, to the extent that SNAP/WIC is “meant to be a supplemental nutritional aid for women, infants and children,”

    This is only true of WIC. SNAP is for anyone below a certain income (unless that has drastically changed since I worked in a grocery store 25 years ago or so).

    WIC is already heavily controlled. Like you can get the 20 oz grape Juicy Juice, but not the 16 oz one or the Fruit Punch and not the other brands either. And that level of control was for nearly all products.

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  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    Re: SNAP article:

    The Democrats should characterize the Republicans as unpatriotic for trying to ban American cheese

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  20. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In re the postal guy: don’t take a job that inherently involved Sundays and religious holidays if you don’t want to work on those days.

    The types of jobs people should take vs what their legal rights are, are two different things. If this was a Muslim would we just tell him that he has no right to legal accommodation and he just shouldn’t have taken a job that requires work on Fridays?

    People may also become religious or change their religious practices after getting a job.

    Rights granted under title 7 for religious accommodation are not contingent on employees only applying for subjectively compatible jobs that the employer conveniently gets to control. We know what happens in that case which is why Title 7 exists.

    That’s why there is a balancing test where employers have to demonstrate “undue hardship” if they seek to deny employees religious accommodation. The only question, in my view, is where to draw that line and the standard that “religious people should only take jobs that don’t inconvenience their employer” is not an appropriate standard IMO.

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  21. Mister Bluster says:

    @steve:..point system

    And the points can be redeemed for…Green Stamps?

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  22. Mister Bluster says:

    …most versions of Christianity in the US don’t have strict observance of no work on the Sabbath.

    Many of the Holy Roller Churches around here not only meet on Sunday morning they come back Sunday night and Wednesday night too. How much time off for Jesus should they get?

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  23. wr says:

    @Andy: “The types of jobs people should take vs what their legal rights are, are two different things. If this was a Muslim would we just tell him that he has no right to legal accommodation and he just shouldn’t have taken a job that requires work on Fridays?”

    Yes. If it were clear from the outset that part of the job meant working on Fridays, then he would need to apply for a different job. You don’t get to apply for a job and then after getting it say “hey, now you have to redefine the job to fit my desires.”

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @wr:

    You don’t get to apply for a job and then after getting it say “hey, now you have to redefine the job to fit my desires.”

    I’m not sure the Federalist sock puppets agree with you, at least with respect to the approved religion.

    It gets dicier when the job changes, abortion drugs became available in your pharmacy or the P. O. takes a contract to deliver on Sundays, which I believe is part of the issue here. But it’s still unreasonable to ask the entire USPS, or Walgreens, to adapt to a handful of sincere (by their own account) holy rollers. Give them severance pay and wish them well.

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  25. Andy says:

    @wr:

    Then you seem to have a fundamental disagreement with the entire structure and purpose of Title 7 which is intended to balance employee rights with employer needs.

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  26. Gustopher says:

    I think the postal service job is probably designed by the employer with no regard to the effect it has on religious communities, and is currently discriminating against Jews and Muslims who cannot work Saturday.

    I would put the burden on the postal service to show that they cannot maintain adequate coverage for fill-ins while allowing employees to specify a guaranteed day off. The number of practicing Sabbath folks for each day is low enough that it likely works out, especially with extra pay on the more popular days off, and if not it can then become a hiring criteria.

    But I would put the burden on the employer until they show it is unworkable.

    Rule of Thumb: Don’t side with the bosses just because you hate Christians. Hate the bosses more.

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  27. Gustopher says:

    The SNAP story looks like they just looked at the ingredients in Mexican food and tried to find ways of disrupting it.

    No fresh meat. No white rice. No sliced or crumbled cheese. I don’t know how they missed tortillas and avocados.

    They are also banning hamburgers. (Meat, cheese, white buns)

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  28. Kurtz says:

    @Andy:

    I’m in some agreement with you here. At the very least, given that systemic issues identified below are unlikely to resolve anytime soon, I think Title 7 is important to guarantee worker rights. So in that sense, I am a little uncomfortable with some of the expressions in this thread.

    Two phrases frustrate me when they come from those close to me on the political spectrum:

    “Just move” and “get a different job.” They are a little different in that the former in most cases is limited primarily by financial situation whereas the latter is subject to the choice of someone else. But those sorts of comments strike me as a bit hypocritical once one looks at other expressed views.

    But more than that, I think these disagreements are reflective of a deeper issue–for most people, meeting basic needs requires participation in the economic system but the exercise of individual non-economic rights is dependent on economic status.

    But I feel compelled to defend the others here a bit. Some of the frustration you’re seeing results from what many of us see as blatant inconsistencies coming from the GOP. Perhaps more importantly, individual religious liberty is being used to elevate a particular form of a particular religion as privileged above others in that it allows adherents to exclude others at will from routine aspects of civic life.

    Not to mention that the party that almost always sides with employers in disputes manages to go to great lengths to carve out exceptions for certain groups. I definitely understand that frustration.

    On the other hand…

    I will also say that allowances for observing religious holidays is quite a bit different from a weekly allowance. At some point, it’s more than a mere accommodation.

    Jen’s point about the specific nature of an auxiliary postal worker is salient, and I think correct in this case. And I think, at some point, Steven is also correc. Some empolyer-employee relationships are just not good fits and one of the most basic aspects of fit is employee availability.

    Tough issue.

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  29. steve says:

    Andy- Yes. We have told that to both Muslims and Orthodox Jews.

    Mister Bluster- Everyone has to take call and we try to make it equal. So we try to sign everyone an equal number of weekend days and equal number of weekdays and we try to make it an equal number of each of the days ie you get the same number of Mondays, Tuesdays, etc. So M-Th is 1 point each, a Friday is 3, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5. (You get a working day off post call on a Sunday vs a non working day if you are on call Saturday.) So you can avoid a Sunday of you want but you need to take 5 extra days of weekday call or one extra Saturday plus a weekday to be off on a Sunday.

    Steve

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  30. Mu Yixiao says:

    My take: I must say, I’m getting tired of this whole category of cases. People have a right to practice their religious beliefs freely. They don’t have a right to impose them on the rest of us or on their employers.

    So: A guy agrees to step in and work any time he’s called–including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, etc.–often with zero notice (phone rings at 05:00, and you’re working that day)–so that other people can take vacation, go to an appointment, stay home because they (or a child) is sick–and you’re going to tell him that he can’t specify that he won’t work on Sundays?

    Exactly how does that “impose his religious rights on you”?

    Exactly how is this any different than a substitute teacher saying “I can’t work on Thursdays, because I need to take my daughter to dialysis”?

    Gods forbid that a part-time, on-demand worker with limited to zero benefits and absolutely zero job security say “I won’t work on Sundays. I want one day a week when I can relax and not have to worry about work.”

    Your position essentially says that substitutes are slaves who must work whenever they’re told to.

    Just out of curiosity: How many Sundays are you required to work? How many Saturdays? How many holidays?

    Exactly how does your contract stating that you won’t work those days “impose your rights” on me?

    (Hint: The answer to all of the questions above is “not at all”)

    I would love to hear your reasoning as to why this person (or any other) who works as a substitute must work when “told to”. And why “I won’t work on this day of the week” isn’t a valid contractual item, and should be overridden by an employer.

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  31. Mu Yixiao says:

    My take: I must say, I’m getting tired of this whole category of cases. People have a right to practice their religious beliefs freely. They don’t have a right to impose them on the rest of us or on their employers.

    Let’s take religion out of it completely.

    If the worker said “I won’t work on Sundays because that’s when my family does stuff together”… Would you insist that–without notice–he can’t do things with his family because the USPS is more important than his wife and children?

    It’s blatantly obvious that you’ve never worked a substitute job–or have any clue about what they entail.

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  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher:

    The SNAP story looks like they just looked at the ingredients in Mexican food and tried to find ways of disrupting it.

    I was wondering what the ban on white rice was about. Your response seems reasonable as an explanation.

    The article that I found noted that the Iowa proposal basically reduces the list of available choices to items allowed in WIC (which may explain why some people were conflating the two programs). As a workable idea, that doesn’t cut it, but I’m used to that with Republiqans now. If people on SNAP are going to be limited to purchase of canned tuna and salmon (as the article I read suggested) we may be able to have a definitive test of how mercury pollution in seafood affects humans, so at least that’s an upside effect (well, sort of anyway), but only if we keep the policy in place for a decade or three and discourage test participants from leaving SNAP so that we can have an effective long-range study. I’m not sure Congress is up to that kind of consistency.

    On the question of the postal service guy, I have no particular empathy at all. I grew up among pretty extreme fundamentalists–our pastor recommended to families that they remove their children from Seattle Christian School when it joined the National Association of Evangelicals because he was convinced that children would no longer get a “Christian” education there. I’ve also worked on Sunday–for roughly 10 years in fact (and while I was a member of the church mentioned in the previous sentence). The positions that grew up with involving issues such as work that would compromise one’s faith were simple and clear cut–don’t take jobs that will cause you to need to sin as a matter of maintaining employment; God will give you better opportunities if you remain faithful. Evangelicals have loosened the restraints over the years and have substituted relying on their “rights as a citizen of the US” for relying on their status as “citizens of a Heavenly kingdom.” Thus, they need to whine about their rights being trampled on by the world whereas in the church culture in which I grew up we simply understood that such trampling was the cost of discipleship (something that modern-day evangelicals yammer on about incessantly). Evangelicals have linked themselves to worldly power and prestige and are seeking to remake the world in their preferred image. The postal worker complaint is simply one of a bunch similar attempts to gin up the notion that they are oppressed. This is my sympathetic face. 😐

    Evangelicals should go back to trying to live the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount and spend less time trying to remake the world in their tainted image. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15

    (The preceding is a religions statement and should not be construed to advocate any government policy, proactive or reactive, and is not intended to suggest what protections the laws of the land should or should not provide.)

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  33. Jen says:

    Again, the religious freedom issue is for a worker who applied for a job NOT as a postal worker, but as an auxiliary worker. If he were a regular, full-time employee, accommodations could be a thing. BUT, he’s been hired specifically to FILL IN FOR OTHERS. That means, by definition, they need someone who is plug and play, and readily available WHEN NEEDED. Now, there are going to be times when you aren’t available–death in the family comes to mind. But taking a job that depends on your ready availability and then giving them a list of “nah” days is weird.

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  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “If the worker said ‘I won’t work on Sundays because that’s when my family does stuff together’… Would you insist that–without notice–he can’t do things with his family because the USPS is more important than his wife and children?”

    No, but I might have to tell him that because of the nature of the type of on-call work that my company does, he’s not a good fit for the job because I absolutely positively need to have people who can work on Sunday without notice. (But it is also possible that this sort of condition should be stated up front so that the person applying knows the conditions under which the work is being offered.)

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy:

    If this was a Muslim would we just tell him that he has no right to legal accommodation and he just shouldn’t have taken a job that requires work on Fridays?

    if you have a legitimate need for Friday night work and you put that in the job description then, yes, that is what both the law and ethics say. There is a job. You hire someone to do that job and, if necessary, make reasonable accommodations for them to be able to do that job. If they can’t do the job you are not obligated to give them someone else’s job.

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  36. Matt says:

    @Andy: If you cannot work friday then you shouldn’t apply for the job. I’m not allowed to apply for a job that requires specific days only to demand one of them off for perpetuity because I have a sincere belief that I cannot work that day of the week…

    I have no sympathy for your hypothetical muslim or the supposed christian. I’m tired of picking up the slack at various jobs because some religious nutjub uses their bullshit fairy tail as an excuse to not do their job.

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  37. steve says:

    “Would you insist that–without notice–he can’t do things with his family because the USPS is more important than his wife and children?”

    If he was hired to work weekend coverage and then told me he couldn’t work 50% of the time of what value would he be to me? You have obviously not had much experience designing and/or being responsible for schedules that include weekends. After running schedules that included weekends (actually 24/7/365) the days that are most difficult to find coverage are Sunday, Saturday and Friday and holidays, especially Christmas and Christmas Eve. I have hired people just for weekend coverage. If someone told me ahead of time they could only work Saturdays I wouldn’t hire them and have a hard time believing they would be much use to anyone else except under unusual circumstances.

    Reminds me so much of the dumbass who I worked with in the Air Force who told us he couldn’t possible work on Christmas because that day was important to him and everyone in his family. It was important to everyone else too.

    Steve

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  38. DK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Your position essentially says that substitutes are slaves who must work whenever they’re told to.

    I’m calling bullshit on this, as a former substitute teacher and a descendant of actual American chattel slaves.

    Substitutes having to work on days when they don’t want to work (which for me is every day, damn you Powerball lol) is not like slavery.

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  39. Modulo Myself says:

    The article on the USPS says:

    Initially he was not asked work on Sundays, but the situation began to change in 2015 due to the requirement that Amazon packages be delivered on that day. Based on his request for an accommodation, his managers arranged for other postal workers to deliver packages on Sundays until July 2018. After that, Groff faced disciplinary actions if he did not report to work.

    So the USPS granted his request for three years while trying to give him time to work something out, i.e. find a job that didn’t require him to work on Sundays. Three years is a long time, and I’m guessing he probably signed something which committed him to the terms of the reasonable accomodation. Unless there’s some other component his case sounds sketchy.

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  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: “get a different job.”

    Do you have any idea how many times I had to get a “different job” to fulfill the obligations of my custodial agreement?

    FTR, many.

    How many times I sued an employer for impinging on it?

    (zero)

    Life is rough all over. Why are somebodies imagined religious obligations more important then my legal obligations? Fck that shit.

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  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: If the worker said “I won’t work on Sundays because that’s when my family does stuff together”… Would you insist that–without notice–he can’t do things with his family because the USPS is more important than his wife and children?

    I would say, “It is part of the job requirements, You don’t get the job. Bye.”

    Really, what is so hard about this?

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  42. Andy says:

    @Kurtz:

    Tough issue.

    Yeah, it is.

    Judging from some of the comments (not yours), it seems like some people think there should be no religious accommodations at all in the workplace.

    I’m not drawing any bright lines here, and as I’ve been stating, a balance must be struck.

    After reading more about this case today, it seems it’s intended to be a direct challenge to a ruling from the 1970’s that set the current standard for when employers can deny a religious accommodation under Title 7. Not having deeply researched this, my instinct is to be skeptical about changing the status quo and expanding the scope of religious accommodations in the workplace.

    @Gustopher:

    But I would put the burden on the employer until they show it is unworkable.

    Rule of Thumb: Don’t side with the bosses just because you hate Christians. Hate the bosses more.

    And the important addition to that (IMO) is that by protecting the rights of Christians, you also protect the rights of every other religious minority – people who are much more likely to experience religious workplace discrimination than Christians are.

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  43. Jen says:

    @Andy:

    it seems like some people think there should be no religious accommodations at all in the workplace.

    This is an overreach. I won’t speak for others, but as far as I’m concerned, if you take a job as a substitute, the parameters are going to be different than for regular, full-time employees.

    As @Modulo Myself points out, the USPS did what they could for three years to accommodate this individual. Suggesting that–maybe–working THIS particular part-time job, for which circumstances had changed, isn’t viable for THIS individual is not equal to “some people think there should be no religious accommodation at all.”

    Neither Hobby Lobby nor Chik-Fil-A are open on Sundays. Maybe he should go there.

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  44. Kurtz says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I understand what you’re saying, and I find the seemingly endless stream of court cases aimed at expanding religious exemptions and accommodations frustrating and problematic.

    I think you know my views a bit better than to think I’m defending this particular legal challenge. At that point in the post, I was in a generalized mode of thought about some of the issues I have with how our economic system interacts with other rights.

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  45. Kurtz says:

    @Jen:

    I can’t speak for Andy, but I don’t think he was referring to your comments.

    Your points on the specifics of this case, to me, are correct.

    Also, I want to highlight something Steve points out that may go unnoticed with the religion lightning rod around.

    Accommodations of any kind place a burden on other employees as well, not just the employer. Arguably, they disrupt other employees much more than the bosses.

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  46. Matt says:

    @Andy:

    Judging from some of the comments (not yours), it seems like some people think there should be no religious accommodations at all in the workplace.

    You shouldn’t apply for a job when you cannot fulfill all the requirements. My perspective is this. If you cannot lift 20 lbs you cannot reasonably expect to be hired and kept on for a job that specifically lists lifting 20lbs as the requirement. That’s why I have no sympathy for pharmacists who suddenly decide they have religious objections to certain medicines. You were hired to do a job and if you cannot do the job find another that you can do. I’ve worked with far too many “religious” people who only suddenly get religious when it benefits them.

    I do make an exclusion for service members as they may or may not be called up to protect this country and be extension the rest of us. I’m sure there are some other reasonable examples that could be brought up too.

    Even in this modern era I have worked jobs where I kept my agnostic tendencies quiet so I could stay employed. I’ve also worked jobs where I’ve had to keep quiet about my political beliefs or even sexuality just to stay employed. So I have no sympathy for these poseurs and their fairy tales. I’ve been oppressed by their bullshit most of my life….

    @Kurtz:

    Arguably, they disrupt other employees much more than the bosses.

    Exactly something I have experienced multiple times. I’ve had to work extra hours and do extra work in general because of “sincere religious beliefs” that magically appear when convenient for them.

    I’m tired of Christians ruling everything while whining and complaining about how oppressed they are.

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