That's a really great argument, but I think it establishes far more than you expect.

Let's consider a private employer (say a fashion brand) which requires its employees to have goatees. I presume you think a claim by an employee whose religion requires they be clean shaven for an accomodation would be required.

But suppose we look at the economic data and discover (as theory predicts given clean shaven is currently popular) that the buisness has to pay several dollars extra an hour to compensate employees for the inconvenience of having to wear a beard. Presumably the buisness believes it's brand benefits in terms of image/sales an amount at least enough to cover the wage premium so it's enduring more than de minimus costs while at the same time other employees will see it as unfair (the religious claimant gets more net compensation as they don't bear the cost of keeping a beard).

Ultimately, doesn't your reasoning just collapse the accomodation requirement into a infinitesimal expansion of the non-discrimination clause into the cases where the employer just can't be bothered since almost every limitation imposed by an employer raises their cost of labor and is therefore imposed by them because they believe not doing so imposes costs?

I like that result but I'm not sure you want to endorse it.

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

If I understood you correctly, a coach directing a pre game prayer circle of teenage football players violates lemon law # (2) the law’s “principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.” Instead SCOTUS did not protect teenagers from coerced (socially & economically in that pleasing the coach = more game time) religious beliefs- which demonstrates the argument of the Groff case, no?

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