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How to Accommodate an Employees Religious Beliefs and Practices

By Edited May 24, 2015 0 2

Different people come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs as well. In an employment setting, these differences and beliefs should all be addressed by the employer to avoid disputes and complaints. However, some employers refuse to accommodate these issues in order to protect their own interests.

If you are an employer and you have employees who have certain religious beliefs, you should accommodate them properly. The first thing you should do is ask them regarding their beliefs, their rituals, required clothing, etc. Once you have found out all about the religion, you can determine whether giving accommodations to those employees will result in undue hardship for your company. If not, then you may take the following steps:

  • Allow them to conduct their religious rituals. Rituals are the heart of a religious belief. If you value your company that much, your employees value their religious rituals even more.
  • If they are required to wear certain clothing, permit them in spite of the company dress code. If you prohibit them from wearing what their beliefs say, it is considered religious discrimination.
  • Reinstate them to other job positions that you think would best fit their religious beliefs and philosophies.
  • In case they need to attend religious services or gatherings on a working day, allow them. You can just tell your employees to swap their rest days for attending religious gatherings and services during weekdays.
  • During the hiring process, interview schedules and processes should also accommodate an applicant's religious practices. You should remind your interviewers to avoid any discriminatory questions that pertain to their religion.

These are just some of the things you can do to accommodate your employees' religious beliefs. Surely they would acknowledge you for your effort and become hardworking employees in your company. On the other hand, if you refuse to make these accommodations, they might file a religious discrimination case against you. In this kind of situation, you are likely to lose and be required to pay for the damages.

Religion has been an issue in society for hundreds of years, resulting to countless wars and bloodsheds. If you do not want to have disputes and conflicts within your company, you should learn how to respect other people's beliefs. Besides, your actions would eventually benefit you in the long run. If you want to know more about accommodation to religious beliefs, just contact a Los Angeles labor attorney.



Nov 28, 2010 4:16pm
Good article. Accommodating a Seventh-day Adventist's belief in not working on the Sabbath day is a great example.
Dec 1, 2010 6:19pm
Yes you're right. In a country where different people come from different cultures and traditions, workplace accommodations are necessary to prevent conflicts.
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