Accommodating religious practices

The employee’s attempts to perform her pre-prayer ablutions in the basement or in public restrooms were unsuccessful because the sinks were too high to cleanse her feet.

When, however, she tried to perform her ablutions in the shower of an empty patient room, which was technically in violation of hospital rules, her supervisor refused to listen to her explanation of her religious motivation and reported her to higher management, which terminated the employee.

The Primerus team worked together to label, scoop, seal, pack and box 3,500 lbs. “The trend could reflect a rise in Islamophobia in the workplace or an increased willingness on the part of Muslims to report discrimination — or both,” according to one observer.

In a consent decree, the employment agency agreed no longer to use the pork form. After he was terminated he sued for religious discrimination under Title VII, as-serting that the company had a duty to accommodate his religious objections to handling pork.

No pork accommodation is far from a certainty, however. The court summarily dismissed his suit, holding that the cost of accommodating plaintiff’s request to remain in the sanitation position would cause the em-ployer to suffer undue hardship.

The employer, citing potential violation of the collective bargaining agreement and impact on the morale of the other drivers, rejected the driver’s suggested accommodation, proposing that he instead bid on evening shifts that would not conflict with his prayer obligations. 8, 2008) when the EEOC obtained a consent decree from a Minnesota chicken processor adding a paid break during the second half of each shift to accommodate the religious beliefs of Muslim employees who wish to pray in the course of the work day. But as a legal and political matter, that solution has not been quite so simple. On some campuses, like George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and Eastern Michigan Uni-versity, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, there has been no outcry . Davis said that after a legal briefing, the board con-cluded that installing foot baths was constitutional and that the college hoped to have a plan in place by the next school year. As the court noted, “the evidence is that the other Muslim employees made no such assertions to .

Plaintiff rejected the accommodation – though not on religious grounds – because he preferred to stay on his usual day shift. He argued that working evenings imposed too great a hardship on him, even more so as his proposed accommodation was so minimal. The relevant inquiry, it stated, “is not whether the employer’s proposal is better, or more to his liking, but whether the employer’s is reasonable.” Objection to accommodating Muslim employees’ request for time to pray during the work day is often fierce, typified by the view of Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) that it isn’t the responsibility of private companies to The Congressman, referring to a pending dispute over Muslims’ prayer time accommodation at a meat packing plant in the Midwest, stated that “[t]he fact is that, if you take a job that requires your attendance on an assembly line from a point certain to a point certain, and if your religious views do not allow you to do that, then don’t take the job.” Tancredo went on to opine that “[t]here is nothing forcing anybody to take the job. it’s every day and multiple times.” Non-Muslim co-workers have also expressed hostility over what they perceive as favoritism when employers accommodate Muslims’ requests for prayer breaks during the work-day. The break is in addition to a break early in the shift and lunch breaks which are required by law. When word of the plan got out this spring, it created instant controversy, with bloggers going on about the Islam-ification of the university, students divided on the use of their building-maintenance fees, and tricky legal questions about whether the plan was a legitimate accommodation of students’ right to practice their religion or unconstitutional government .

The law does not prohibit teasing or other comments, as long as these comments are not so frequent or so severe that they border on creating a hostile work environment.

Further, employees cannot be made to participate in religious ceremonies or activities as a condition of employment.

No one has put a gun to their head.” Typical too are the comments made by the founder of a conservative legal organization, which has represented Christians and Jews who wanted Saturdays or Sundays off to worship, that “[t]he problem with the Muslim prayer request is that it’s not one day or annual . In a pending lawsuit, for example, two Hertz employees claim that the company discriminated against , No. The timing of the added break will fluctuate during the year to coordinate with the religious timing for Muslim prayers. A security company hired a Muslim woman as a part-time security officer who wore at her interview a religious garment that covered her from head to toe, revealing only her hands and face.

The employer, a hospital, had always accommodated a Muslim employee’s prayer schedule, allowing her to take breaks during the work day to pray in its two non-denominational chapels. The company’s written uniform policy states in all capital letters that “ADDITIONS TO THE UNIFORM ARE NOT PERMITTED FOR ANY REASON INCLUDING RELIGION.” Hence, when the employee showed up for her first assignment wearing a khimar she was told that as an accommodation she could wear a baseball cap to cover her head, but could not wear her , No.

Management told the employee however, that it would consider what reasonable accommodations could be made to its dress code policy.

Before it could do so plaintiff resigned and filed a lawsuit against the clinic. The department determined that doing so would violate the department’s uniform regulation, which prohibited officers in uniform from wearing religious dress or symbols, applied in all circumstances, permitted no medical or secular exceptions. [the department’s] uniform as a symbol of neutral government authority, free from expressions of personal religion, bent or bias.” points up the difficulties faced by Muslim employees seeking accommodations to permit them to attend Friday prayers at local mosques. 2004) (class action settled for million; plaintiffs alleged that Abercrombie’s “Look Policy,” the company’s conception of “natural, classic American style,” epitomized by a “good-looking” sales force, unlawfully excluded African-Americans and Hispanics from selling jobs).

after she was hired, and told management that she eventually planned to wear a full headpiece, with only her eyes showing. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

Tags: , ,