Accommodating religious beliefs in the workplace

15-Jan-2020 05:51

Rather, the employer is obligated to find reasonable accommodations for both the employee and the employer in the context of the specific employment relationship.

Satisfying the duty to accommodate is highly fact specific exercise in which both the employee and employer must participate.

Failure to properly accommodate an employee's religious beliefs could not only lead to potential human rights complaints, but also negative media coverage, as was the case with York University.

Employers should consider the following guiding principles when determining how to accommodate their employees' religious beliefs, particularly in light of the obligation to accommodate to the point of undue hardship: A final consideration for employers is that the law does not require accommodation to the complete satisfaction of the requesting employee.

The situation at York University involved a male student who claimed his religious beliefs prevented him from engaging in face-to-face group work with female students.

The media attention that resulted in the disagreement between the student's professor and York University over how to accommodate the student's request shows just how difficult it can be for public institutions and employers to address this issue.

Later that same day, a rules change adopted by the House permitted religious head coverings on the floor, allowing Rep.

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Muslim, is the first Congressional representative to wear a hijab.

This might mean, for example, agreeing not to schedule you to work on your Sabbath day or relaxing a company dress code so that you can wear religious garments.

Some possible accommodations include: Some employees want to express their religious beliefs in the workplace by, for example, using religious language (such as "God bless you" or "Praise the Lord") when communicating with others or attempting to proselytize coworkers.

In other words, employers are also required to take their employees’ religion into account when making job decisions.

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The obligation to accommodate religious practice arises from the nature of religion: Unlike the other characteristics protected by discrimination laws, such as race, age, or gender, religion is not a trait one is born with, but a system of beliefs.

Generally, employers will be able to accommodate religious requests by providing days off work or short leaves of absence to allow the employee to participate in religious observances or holidays.

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