Accommodate an Employee's Request to Pray During Working Hours

Key Points

  • An employer engages in religious discrimination when it forces employees to abandon or alter their religious practices as a condition of employment. This discrimination may take the form of an official policy forbidding prayer in the workplace or the denial of an employee's request to pray during working hours.
  • An employer must be open to different religious practices of their employees, including prayer during working hours, so long as the employee's beliefs are bona fide. However, an employer may not delve into the religious practices of an employee to test the sincerity of an employee's religious convictions.
  • Title VII generally requires that bona fide religious beliefs must be reasonably accommodated, unless such an accommodation causes an undue hardship.
  • An employer should be consistent in protecting the religious beliefs of their employees, including prayer during working hours. This practice should always emphasize and include an ongoing dialogue between the employee and the employer about available accommodations.
  • An employer is not required to bear more than a minimal burden to accommodate an employee's religious practices.

XpertHR Resources