The US Supreme Court has ruled that same sex couples have a fundamental right to marriage protected under the US Constitution. In Obergefell et al v. Hodges, the Court found Constitutional protection under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. The vote was 5-4 with extensive dissenting opinions.
Governor Jay Inslee has signed in to law a bill that assures state employees (and public school students) two days off per calendar years for religious holiday. Our business clients, particularly those with heavy weekend and holiday need, may wish to anticipate similar requests being made to them as well for unpaid holidays as a “reasonable accommodation” for religious practices.
The Washington State Supreme Court today announced its decision that Washington employers with 8 or more employees can be sued under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.060.120) for failing to offer reasonable accommodations to their employees religious beliefs, Kumar v. Gate Gourmet, Inc.
Today the very sharply divided US Supreme Court approved a small town’s practice of inviting ministers and other faith leaders to provide opening prayers prior to beginning a town meeting, even though the prayer leaders were overwhelmingly Christian (four non Christians led prayer over a period of nine years). The 5-4 decision found the prayers […]
One of the most frequent sources of questions we face deal with accommodating religious dress. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has just released informal guidelines to assist employers in meeting their legal obligations entitled Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities.
The Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion today in Ockletree v. Franciscan Health Services affirming that exempting religious organizations from the Washington Law Against Discrimination does not violate Washington’s Constitution, which guarantees “absolute freedom” in matters of religion.
The public furor over the firing of an Eastside Catholic High School administrator emphasizes once again the complex interplay and separation between church and state. When considering the issue, keep several legal and Constitutional principles in mind.
Do for profit corporations have religious liberty rights under federal law and the US Constitution? The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear this issue by accepting certiori of Hobby Lobby v. Sebilius and several accompanying lower court decisions.
The rulings from the Supreme Court mean that same sex married couples in Washington will receive the same federal benefits as opposite sex married couples.
Yesterday the White House issued the first guidelines to assist houses of worship in developing plans to deal with emergency violence situations. The report can be accessed here: FEMA Guidelines. Six federal agencies contributed to the formulation of these guidelines. Although we would like to think violence in our houses of worship is still unthinkable, […]