Religious Freedom and Job Requirements

Written by Ravi Sattiraju on January 23, 2017

We live in a multicultural society. Especially in New Jersey and New York, two of the most densely-populated and culturally diverse areas of the United States, issues related to religious and cultural expression crop up frequently in schools and workplaces. Employers within this diverse workforce often find themselves struggling to make decisions that not only uphold their companies’ business models and cultures, but also allow their employees the freedom to practice and express their religions fully.

These decisions are often very difficult to make, especially when an employer does not have previous experience handling the type of issue he or she is facing. If your religious beliefs, needs, or traditions are incongruent with your job description, talk to your supervisor about making a few reasonable accommodations to your job duties to allow you to perform them while still expressing your religious beliefs. Some examples of reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious freedoms include modifying a work uniform to allow for an employee to wear a head covering or comply with religious modesty standards or allowing an employee to come into work late or leave early to fulfill religious obligations. To learn more about reasonable accommodations in the workplace or determine if your religious freedom has been infringed at your workplace, contact an experienced New Jersey workplace discrimination attorney.

Is it Reasonable?

The key to determining whether an employee’s requested accommodation can be implemented in the workplace is whether it is reasonable. Employers have to ask the following questions to determine this:

  • Does it place an unfair burden on other employees or the company?
  • Is it available given the company’s budget and resources?
  • Would such an accommodation harm the company in any way?

This is “the line” between religious freedom and job requirements. If an employee’s religious freedom impedes his or her job performance or the company in any way, it cannot work with his or her job requirements.

Employment Attorneys in New Jersey

If you have been denied reasonable accommodations for your religious beliefs in your workplace, contact our team of experienced New Jersey employment attorneys at The Sattiraju Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your legal options. If you can not resolve this issue within your company, you might need to file a religious discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). We can advise you about this option and if you take this route, provide you with legal guidance and representation with your discrimination claim. Do not wait to contact our firm – schedule your free legal consultation with us today.

Posted Under: New Jersey Employment Law
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