Accommodating religious beliefs and practices in the workplace


The employee was hired as a door greeter, and the store avoided scheduling him on Wednesday evenings and Sundays.When he was scheduled to work those days, he either traded shifts or took a vacation day.In fact, case law encourages employers and employees to engage in “bilateral cooperation,” recognizing that it is the employees who best understand their religious beliefs and requirements and the employers that best understand the needs of their businesses and the intricacies of their operations.Third, to better facilitate the interactive process, have a specific policy in your employee handbook addressing religious accommodations and how employees should request them.



The store could no longer guarantee him time off every Wednesday night and Sunday because it scheduled most cashiers to work a majority of Sundays and required all cashiers to work certain Sundays, such as when the store had a big sale.The policy should require employees to specify in writing what their religious beliefs require and how those beliefs affect their present work situation.Getting the accommodation request in writing focuses the inquiry and protects you from later claims that other issues were raised but not considered.This unique accommodation requirement sets religious discrimination claims apart from most other discrimination claims. A recent case is a prime example of this religious accommodation requirement.

A department store employee believed his Christian faith required him to attend his church’s Wednesday evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening church services.

For example, if the employee needs a day off to attend prayer service, he should use an available personal day rather than requesting an additional day off.



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