It is an unlawful employment practice to fail to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee unless it would result in an undue hardship on the employer.

This coverage protects members of traditional religions as well as those who have moral or ethical beliefs concerning what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.

These practices include, for example, observance of a Sabbath or religious holidays, need for prayer breaks during work, dietary requirements, prohibitions against medical examinations and special dress or other grooming habits.

The employer is required to show that an undue hardship would result from each alternative method of accommodation suggested by the employee before it can refuse to grant an employee’s requests.

Types of relief that can be considered include voluntary substitutions, swaps of job assignments, flexible scheduling, floating or optional holidays, and lateral transfer and change of job assignments.

Questions about the religion of an applicant or unavailability due to religion before a job offer is made is a violation of the law. Only after a job offer has been made can questions about religion be asked, and even then the employer must prove a business necessity for doing so.

See also…

Job Discrimination and Harassment