Attorneys React to High Court’s EEOC v. Abercrombie Ruling

June 1, 2015 – In The News

Steven Ludwig was featured in the Law360 article, "Attorneys React to High Court's EEOC v. Abercrombie Ruling." Full text can be found in the June 1, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

In EEOC v. Abercrombie, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a religious accommodation only needs to be part of the employer’s reasoning for their decision, whether the employer knew of the need for the accommodation or not.

Steven Ludwig commented on the significance of the ruling, saying that, “It’s a big win for the EEOC, particularly with an 8-1 decision and an opinion authored by Justice Scalia. In order to avoid liability, the decision puts employers on an even slimmer pathway between a rock and a hard place. The Sergeant Schultz 'I know nothing' defense becomes harder to accomplish since there needs to be not even a suspicion that the practice at issue is a religious practice. If there is even a whiff of suspicion, then an employer is better off knowing and inquiring about whether religion is involved and to conduct an individualized evaluation whether an accommodation requires waiver of a neutral rule or whether this waiver rises to the level of an undue hardship.”