What laws protect my free exercise of religion at work?

To begin with, your employer cannot take adverse action against you or allow harassment against you on the basis of your religion. Further, if you require a religious accommodation, your employer is required to grant it unless it imposes more than a minimal burden on its business. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch recently settled a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination and will now allow its Muslim female employees to wear a hijab to work in its retail stores.

There are some caveats to these principles, though. According to the EEOC, “An employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices if doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer. An accommodation may cause undue hardship if it is costly, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, infringes on the rights of other employees, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.”

Do you have a question about religious discrimination or accommodation? Contact the The Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC.

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