Religious accommodation refers to adjusting the work environment to allow an employee to practice their religion. The need for religious accommodation arises when a person’s religious practices, observances, or beliefs conflict with job tasks.
What Are Some Examples of Religious Accommodation?
Some examples of religious accommodation include:
- Change in schedule, such as leaving work early, floating holidays, or arriving to work late
- Flexible work breaks
- Job reassignment, such as a transfer or change in job tasks
- Voluntarily swapping shifts
- Modifying workplace practices
- Designating a private location to use for religious observance
- Observing religious grooming or dress practices like wearing a head covering
- Not wearing clothing that would be against they employee’s religious practices such as pants
How Does the Religious Accommodation Process Work?
When making an accommodation request, an employee must express their need for a change in schedule based on their religious practices or beliefs conflicting with work duties.
What If the Religious Accommodation Causes the Company Hardship?
Religious accommodation may cause hardship for an employer if it:
- Costs too much money
- Puts workplace safety at risk
- Infringes on the rights of other workers
- Requires other workers to take on more work tasks
- Causes problems with workplace efficiency
- Violates terms of the company’s collective bargaining agreement
If a particular accommodation would cause hardship for an employer, they may be able to provide a reasonable alternative to that accommodation without being guilty of religious discrimination.
Is Workplace Harassment the Same as Religious Harassment?
No. Workplace harassment refers to any offensive conduct that happens between an employer and/or employees. Religious harassment refer to offensive conduct between an employer and/or employees based on someone’s religion. Harassment may include offensive remarks about the employee’s religious practices or beliefs and:
- Offhanded comments
- Playing around that creates a hostile environment
What Is Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination involves treating employees differently because of their religious beliefs. It also includes harassing employees because of their religious or forcing them to participate in certain religious practices.
Do I Need Legal Help Regarding Religious Accommodation Lawsuits?
Yes. If you believe that your employer discriminated against you because of your religious beliefs or practices, contact an employment lawyer immediately.