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Court tackles pregame prayer, rules it out of bounds

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

East Brunswick High School football coach Marcus Borden ran afoul of the U.S. Constitution when he prayed with his team, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled.

Borden, a Spanish teacher and coach at East Brunswick since 1983, routinely joined in prayers at team meals and invited players to pray silently in the locker room before games.

But civil libertarians complained that the prayers introduced religion into the public school system, in violation of the First Amendment.

Borden sued the district for the right to silently join in pregame prayers and prevailed in district court in 2006. The federal appeals court annulled that decision, ruling that Borden was “endorsing religion.”

Final note: Remind employees that proselytizing has no place at work. While employees may be entitled to reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs, they don’t include interfering with the beliefs of others.  

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