Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination on the basis of religion is illegal for most United States employers. One form of discrimination employers can commit is refusing to provide reasonable accommodations when employees seek them due to religious needs. If a requested accommodation would create an undue hardship for the company, such as creating a financial burden or endangering its other employees’ safety and well being, an employer can deny the request. An employer should, though, make every effort to accommodate their employee’s needs, which can often be done through the following:

Flexible Scheduling and Days Off

When employees need to attend religious services or has religious practices that require him or her to be out of work at certain times, employers must comply with these needs within reason. A few examples of flexible scheduling to meet employees’ religious needs include:

  • Permitting observant Jewish employees to leave work early on Friday so they can be home by sundown, the beginning of the Sabbath;
  • Permitting employees to take prayer breaks during the day as needed;
  • Allowing employees to take religious holidays off; and
  • Not scheduling employees for days they cannot work due to religious convictions or services.

It is discrimination to provide these accommodations to employees of certain religions but not others.

Alterations to the Work Uniform and Appearance Standards

Some religions require their adherents to dress or groom in a certain way. For example, individuals who follow the Sikh faith often do not cut their hair. In a job that requires men to be clean shaven, a Sikh employee may ask that he not be required to shave his beard.

An employee may also seek a change to the job uniform to incorporate his or her religious garments.

Changes to Job Duties

An employee may be excused from company events and programs if they are at odds with the employee’s religious beliefs or requirements. Similarly, when a job requires an employee to act in a manner at odds with his or her religion, he or she may be excused from those duties.

When you are Looking for your Next Job, Our Tulsa Staffing Agency is Here to Help

Your religious observances and practices should not preclude you from performing your job. For guidance finding your next job, work with our team of staffing specialists at Stand-by Personnel.