Religious Accommodation and the National Labor Relations Act
97 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2019
Date Written: January 15, 1996
This Article argues for amending the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA ") to require employers and unions to accommodate a broader array of employee and third party religious beliefs. By detailing the experiences of several religious adherents, the Article seeks to demonstrate that current statutory and constitutional doctrines fail to adequately protect religious freedom.
After identifying numerous conflicts between the NLRA and religious exercises, the Article explains why a legislative accommodation for religion is appropriate given the long-standing history in United States labor law of accommodating various secular interests (e.g. federalism and free speech) that may conflict with optimal labor policy. In the author's view, religion is an interest as worthy of protection as these secular interests.
Finally, the author tests his proposal under the appropriate Establishment Clause standards. Due to inconsistent Supreme Court jurisprudence in cases involving the intersection of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, the author analyzes in detail how the proposed legislative accomodation complies with the dictates of Court precedent. The Author concludes that the current Supreme Court would uphold a meaningful level of legislative accommodation of religious liberties impinged by the NLRA against challenges that such accommodation violates
the Establishment Clause.
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