How You Can Make Religious Accommodations in the Workplace
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual in hiring or firing or other employment-related issues based on their religious affiliation. The same statute also requires that employees reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees as long as it would not be an undue hardship on the employer to do so.
There are a number of ways in which your employees may require you to accommodate their religious beliefs. There are just a few instances of the kind of religious accommodations that you may be asked to provide in your workplace.
One of the more common religious accommodations that employees ask is for time off every week for the Sabbath. It could be Fridays or Saturdays. Employees may also need to take one or two days in a year for a religious holiday, which is not a public holiday in the United States.
Other very frequently requested accommodations have to do with religious garb. Persons of different faiths are assertive these days about wearing appropriate religious garb to the workplace. As an employer, you may receive requests from Muslim employees about wearing headscarves, or Orthodox Jews and other employees growing their long beards.
Sometimes employees ask for place in the office where they may be able to pray.
What you do when you are met with requests like these?
The fact is that employers can make reasonable accommodations without much hardship to themselves. For instance, allowing employees to avoid work on the Sabbath every week can involve modifying shift schedules, so that other employees can share the work. An employee, who wants the day off on a Friday or Saturday, can be allowed to work on Sundays, or during any other national holiday, when he wants a holiday for his own religious celebration.
When an employee wants to leave work early on a particular day for religious reasons, you can allow him to make up for that time during another the day of the week. Alternatively, you could also allow the employer to use paid vacation time to make up for the additional religious holidays that he may require.
As an employer, you can make accommodations like these with minimum inconvenience to you, and keep employees happy and satisfied.