Accommodate an Employee's Request for Time Off for Religious Reasons

Key Points

  • An employer is required to attempt to reasonably accommodate an employee who requests time off for religious reasons as long as the employee has a sincerely held religious belief.
  • Religious beliefs are broadly defined and include not only traditional religions, but also less well known religions and sincerely held moral or ethical beliefs. As such, an employer should not reject a request for time off because an employee follows a non-traditional religion, unless the employer can show the employee's request poses an undue hardship.
  • In response to a request for time off for religious reasons, an employer should engage in an interactive process with the employee to decide upon the most reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer does not need to incur more than minimal costs to accommodate an employee's religious practices.
  • Religious accommodations may include flexible scheduling, voluntary swapping of shifts, or granting employees time off to attend religious services.

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