Best Practices: “Religious Issues in the Workplace”

March 13th, 2012 | By Jules Halpern Associates | Discrimination, Religion

Employers should consider the following “best practices” when handling religious issues in the workplace:

  • Create an atmosphere of open communication.  Encourage employees to bring their work/religion conflicts to your attention, and inform them that you will make reasonable efforts to accommodate their religious beliefs and practices.
  • Train managers and supervisors on how to recognize and process religious accommodation requests from employees.  Almost any conversation about a work/religion conflict can be considered a request for a reasonable accommodation. There are no “magic words” that trigger the need for reasonable accommodation.
  • Check state laws. As in New York and New Jersey, state laws may impose additional requirements on employers when dealing with issues of religious discrimination and accommodation.
  • Document all requests for and efforts to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs or practices. In particular, if a request for a reasonable accommodation is denied, make sure to document the reasons why such an accommodation constitutes an undue hardship.

Jules Halpern Associates LLC

Workplace and Education Law Advisors

Jules Halpern Associates LLC
JULES HALPERN ASSOCIATES LLC is a boutique law firm committed to serving our clients in all facets of their workplace issues. We provide personalized, practical advice that resonates with our clients’ business objectives.
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