Accommodating religious beliefs

Flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, job reassignments and lateral transfers and modifying workplace practices, policies and/or procedures are examples of how an employer might accommodate an employee's religious beliefs.An employer is not required to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs and practices if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employers' legitimate business interests.Religious discrimination by employers is expressly prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and by most state constitutions.Although employers do not have to satisfy an employee's every desire in accommodating his religious beliefs, they are required to make "reasonable accommodations." The most common accommodation is granting an employee time off to observe a religious holiday.

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What should I do, as an employee, to avoid or resolve religious conflicts at work? What can I do if I am being discriminated against or denied an accommodation for my religious practices? Does my employer, or prospective employer have a responsibility to provide me with an accommodation, when they reasonably know I need one, even if I did not ask for one? Can my employer prevent me from taking off on religious holidays or my day of worship? What if workers with more seniority already have my day of worship off? I think I was retaliated against because I asked for religious accommodations. In a recent job interview, the employer asked if I could work Thursday through Sunday each week. I told my supervisor that I need Saturday off for religious reasons, but he doesn't believe me and started asking all kinds of personal questions about my religious beliefs. Beyond this, employers must also take steps to prevent religious discrimination from other employees as well.

For example, many facilities allow Jewish employees paid time off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Companies that do not allow paid time off for religious holidays typically make it possible for employees to observe these holidays without loss of pay by arranging for time off in some other way.

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees' sincerely held religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

A reasonable religious accommodation is any adjustment to the work environment that will allow the employee to practice his religion.