You are the Director of Human Resources for the City of Rochester. The city’s employees are represented by the Rochester City Employees Association (RCEA).
One of the employees at city hall is a devout fundamentalist Christian who frequently asks other employees, particularly non-Christian employees, if they are willing to be “born again” and to pray with her. A number of employees have complained to you, and the union threatens to file a grievance over her behavior.
The state civil service law gives the city the right to impose and enforce reasonable disciplinary rules. The RCEA demands that the city impose a rule prohibiting employees from engaging in religious conduct on the job and from harassing other employees over matters of religion. You are concerned about the constitutionality of such a rule and of imposing discipline on an employee for religious behavior.
What are the potential constitutional problems raised by the proposed rule? What arguments can you make in favor of the proposed rule? What arguments can you make against it? Prepare a memo discussing these rules for the mayor and city council and recommend whether the city should adopt the rule.