Postal workers have unique access to people’s homes and the ability to deliver dangerous materials to potentially unaware people. Due to the nature of their job, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees must take an oath when they start.
The oath says the person will solemnly swear to:
However, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, recently issued a legal opinion about religious objections to this oath.
Some postal workers objected to taking the oath of office. Their complaints focused on:
These objections are on the grounds that doing so would violate their religious views. Some religions may:
However, it was concluded that the oath of office would not interfere with applicants’ right to exercise their religious beliefs freely.
The Office of Legal Counsel explained that:
Part of the reason for the oath is to ensure a minimal level of loyalty and conscientious conduct on the part of federal employees and officers.
The USPS has a “…compelling interest in ensuring [through the oath] that prospective employees both support the Constitution and [are] committed to faithfully performing their jobs.” People who commit anti-U.S. acts are banned from holding government office or employment.
These acts can include:
Postal workers must meet specific minimum standards of loyalty. They must support the laws required by all officers of our government.
Postal employees are in a position of public trust because they have unique access to:
For more information, you can read the entire legal opinion discussing this matter by clicking here.
Our legal rights, including freedom of religion and other civil rights, can sometimes present complicated questions in the real world. If you have a question about how federal law affects you in your job, contact a civil rights attorney or a labor and employment attorney in your area today.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified civil rights lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact an attorney in your area from our directory to discuss your specific legal situation.