Supreme Court Affirms Right Not to Work on One’s Sabbath

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that someone cannot be denied unemployment benefits because he refused to work on his Sabbath.

The decision in the case, Frazee vs. the Illinois Department of Employment Security, reversed the denial of benefits to a man who refused to work on Sunday because he belonged to no organized church or denomination.

The American Jewish Congress hailed the decision as “an important vindication of the right to observe your religious tradition in a way that is appropriate to your personal belief. It is an important victory for religious belief,” the organization said.

In another case Wednesday, AJ Congress asked the Supreme Court to review a lower court decision requiring an Omaha, Nebraska, school board to give official recognition to a student Christian Bible Club.

If the high court agrees to hear the case, Mergens vs. Westside Community Schools Board of Education, it could use the opportunity to rule on the 1984 Equal Access Act.

That law requires public schools to grant the same access to religious clubs as they do to other extracurricular groups.

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