Update: Debates Continue over The Workplace Religious Freedom Act

May 10, 2003

Source: Los Angeles Times


On May 10, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that "a broad coalition of religious groups is pushing a bill that would protect religious expression in the workplace, but civil liberties groups are concerned that the bill could be used to advance on-the-job proselytizing... The Workplace Religious Freedom Act, introduced recently by Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), would require employers to 'reasonably accommodate' workers who want to wear religious articles or take off time for worship services... Current law mandates that employers allow such expression as long as it does not impose an 'undue hardship' on the company. Supporters, however, say a 1977 Supreme Court ruling gutted the law by ruling that even a minimal cost to the employer could be considered an 'undue hardship' that would trump a worker's rights."