Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon: Government Employee Can Get Religious Holiday for Vacation Day

Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon: Government Employee Can Get Religious Holiday for Vacation Day

Frank O'Bannon Governor of Indiana

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Decided: Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon — According to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, a government is permitted to give employees a religious holiday off as a paid vacation day, but only if the government can provide a legitimate secular purpose for choosing that day instead of any other day.

According to the court:

"Almost by definition the choice of Good Friday advances the Christian religion (except, perhaps for those Christians who are adherents of the Eastern Church, whose tradition often puts Holy Friday on a different date).

Those employees who do not observe Good Friday and who wish to take time off on a different day of religious observance must make a request and use a vacation, compensatory, or personal day or leave without pay.

Thus their making that choice imposes a cost. There are circumstances under which the request may not be granted."

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