Elizabeth Houghton LaGreca, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was featured in Bloomberg Daily Labor Report, in “Religious Objections Over Pronouns Test High Court’s New Stance,” by George Weykamp. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

A revived legal dispute over a Christian music teacher’s refusal to use students’ preferred names and pronouns will offer an early test of the US Supreme Court’s new standard for religious accommodations in the workplace.

John Kluge sued Brownsburg Community School Corp. after it rescinded a faith-based accommodation that allowed him to refer to all students exclusively by their last names. He lost his discrimination case under decades-old high court precedent that gave employers more leeway in denying religious requests that pose a minimal hardship on operations.

But the justices in June revamped how courts should analyze religious accommodations, making them more difficult for employers to reject. Now Kluge’s case is heading back to an Indiana federal court, which will reasses his claims under the Supreme Court’s unanimous Groff v. Dejoy decision. …

The school district will likely argue that the case meets the Groff standard due to the role schools play in creating a safe and comfortable environment for children, said Elizabeth Houghton LaGreca, an attorney with Epstein, Becker & Green P.C. …

Courts are weighing the issue of preferred pronoun usage and religious accommodations in pending employment cases across the nation. All could be complicated by the Supreme Court’s new precedent.

“We’re in a challenging spot where employers may have made accommodation decisions based on the Hardison standard, and then now, those decisions are going to be assessed potentially under the Groff standard,” Epstein, Becker & Green’s LaGreca said.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.