Accommodating Employees’ Religious Beliefs

Risk Research Bulletin | March 2016 | 0 Comments  Average 5 out of 5

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About This Resource

As the number of workplace religious discrimination charges increase, school and college administrators must be aware of their legal duties to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and practices. Training employees and ensuring your institution has a strong policy against religious harassment and discrimination can help minimize risk.

The law requires employers to accommodate their employees’ religious practices unless doing so would constitute an undue hardship. Examples of accommodation requests include:

  • Voluntary shift substitutions
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Unpaid leave
  • Lateral transfer and change of job assignments
  • Religious dress or grooming

Training administrators, department heads, and other supervisors is key to avoiding claims. Training should include:

  • Concrete examples of modifications that constitute a reasonable accommodation
  • Making supervisors aware that it is unlawful to inquire about religion during the pre-employment interview process
  • In religious communities, training may include information about the religion’s common practices or holidays

Read this bulletin for more practical tips to prevent claims.


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