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What Are Some Reasonable Religious Accommodations in the Workplace?

Employment Law / September 21, 2021

In the United States, the population practices more than a dozen different religions. Religion is an integral part of many people’s lives. Depending on what religion you practice, there are reasonable religious accommodations in the workplace that you can ask of your employer.

Although the law states that employees should be allowed to practice their religions at work, their practices must not infringe on other employees or create undue hardships for the employer. However, if your employer fails to comply with reasonable religious accommodations, you may be owed financial compensation.

What Is Religious Discrimination in the Workplace?

Religious discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer, or an employee in a position of power, harasses or makes adverse employment decisions about an employee or applicant because of their religion. Religion is a protected class; therefore, discrimination based on religion is illegal. 

An example of religious discrimination would be refusing to allow an employee to take off work to practice a religious holiday. If the employee taking off on this particular day would not infringe on other employees or create undue hardships for the employer, then the employer should allow the employee to miss work and observe the religious holiday. Just as the law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for their religion, it also states that employers must allow for reasonable religious accommodations in the workplace.

What Are Reasonable Religious Accommodations at Work?

Religions often include practices that are a vital part of a follower’s religious experience. Some of these practices may include:

  • Wearing a specific type of clothing
  • Partaking in recommended or required prayer times
  • Observing holidays
  • Fasting
  • Eating a particular type of food

In most cases, employers must provide their employees with reasonable accommodations to practice their religions.

Examples of Reasonable Religious Accommodations in the Workplace

There are various reasonable religious accommodations that can be provided to employees. Some examples of how an employer may provide reasonable accommodations for employees include:

  • Allowing Muslim employees to have prayer breaks five times a day
  • Accommodating employees who observe the Hindu Day of Fasting
  • Allowing employees who practice Judaism to wear Yarmulkes and a Tallit at work
  • Allowing employees time off from work to get ashes on Ash Wednesday
  • Allowing an employee who practices Wiccan time off to celebrate the Summer Solstice
  • Allowing employees to have time off for religious holidays or occasions like a wedding or a funeral

If your employer gives you pushback or does not allow you reasonable accommodations to practice your religious beliefs, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You should contact an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible.

Can an Employer Ask You to Prove Your Religious Beliefs?

An employer can ask for proof of your religious affiliation. Once that proof is provided, they should comply with any reasonable religious accommodations. While your employer is technically allowed to ask for proof of your religious affiliation, there is no requirement for any particular type of proof. Employees need only to prove that they sincerely hold their religious beliefs. If your employer asks for anything more, you could be experiencing religious discrimination.

Experienced Employment Lawyer at the Hollis Law Firm

The Hollis Law Firm is proud to offer clients the opportunity to work with our skilled employment lawyer. Our employment attorney has extensive experience helping clients who have endured religious discrimination. Religion is an important part of many people’s lives, and they should be allowed to practice those beliefs at their workplace. If your employer has refused to make reasonable accommodations for your religious beliefs, contact an employment lawyer who may be able to help you obtain the financial compensation you are owed.

At the Hollis Law Firm, our experienced employment lawyer is proud to help clients who have been the victims of religious discrimination at work. Our clients are provided with the personalized and dedicated representation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us here or call (800) 701-3672.