Issue with accomodating
For example, some churchgoing employees may ask to use a conference room for monthly meetings of church-related social or business group.
Check with your legal counsel in the specific circumstance, but in most cases your accommodation to allow prayers that are required during the workday does not obligate you to open your facilities to all other religiously associated causes represented by your employees.
The challenge, however, can be determining to what extent an employee’s religious objection to a particular work requirement is, in fact, “sincerely held.” One way to do that is to talk with the employee and find out what you can without pressing too hard on what may be private matters.
If it is a sincerely held religious belief or practice, employers must provide a reasonable accommodation.
If there is no accommodation that would address the safety concerns, the accommodation would not be reasonable because it causes an undue hardship.
Accommodations are usually handled easily but there are some significant mistakes you can make without intending that result.
Barrie Gross is former Vice President and Senior Corporate Counsel (Employment Law) for an international Fortune 1000 company and is a regular contributor to All
This article is provided only as general information, which may or may not reflect the most current legal developments or be complete.
Enid Weiner, MSW, Ed D I coordinate the Psychiatric Dis/Abilities Program at York University in Toronto.