Frequently Asked Employer Questions: Accommodating Religion in the Workplace
Does a private employer have an obligation to accommodate a religious employee who wants to exercise his/her religion within the workplace?
Depending on the size of the employer, the employer may have an obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who wants to exercise his or her religion within the office. Every employer with over 15 employees must abide by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII specifies that an employer must provide an employee with a “sincerely held religious belief” a reasonable accommodation to practice their religion during work hours as long as the accommodation would not pose an undue hardship on the employer.
Failure to provide an employee with a sincerely held religious belief a reasonable accommodation could result in exposure for the employer under Title VII. While what is considered a reasonable accommodation can be entirely fact specific and can be different for each employer, examples of reasonable accommodations could include allowing the employee to have breaks throughout the day to perform prayer or other religious rituals, providing the employee with a separate space away from other workers where he or she could go to perform said religious rituals, etc.
This update provides general information and does not provide tailored legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.