Over 50 years ago the United States Supreme Court issued the Hardison opinion. In that opinion the Court addressed what accommodations must an employer provide to employees for things such as religious beliefs. Harden included a test of sorts that employers must show an undue hardship on its operations in order to be exempt from providing the accommodation requested.
Hardin was clarified today. The background, briefly, was a postal worker refused to work on Sunday to observe the Sabbath. He switched offices to be at stations which did not have Sunday deliveries. Ultimately, due to the increase in private shipping packages through the USPS, he was expected to work Sundays.
It remains the case that the lens of the assessment is the impact on the employer's business. But what used to be a de minimis threshold is now clarified to mean that forcing other employees to work more to accommodate a religious belief is not enough to carve the employer out of its requirement to accommodate the employee.
The standard is now clarified to be that the employer must show a substantial burden on its overall business operations. The Court does not, and could not, state what that means as every business is different. Substantial burden can come in the form of increased costs.
So, not a bright line test. But it is imperative for employers to keep abreast of these progressions. The workforce diversity will only increase. Knowing the law is necessary to keep pace with who you send paychecks to.