Religious Accommodation for Muslim Employees

As the phenomenon of religious discrimination cases involving prayer grows, employers should first check their internal policies. Employers should become familiar with Islamic practices and the Islamic dress code to ensure religious accommodation in the workplace. When charges or complaints are filed too late, you may not be able to obtain any remedy.

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Under both federal and state law, Colorado employers have a duty to reasonably accommodate the religious practices or observances of employees, unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. The No Pork Accommodation. The bottom line is that the employer must take action that effectively ends the harassment. Thus, Rashid is entitled to accommodation. Prayer Islam prescribes five daily prayers, a practice observed by many Muslims.

Adding Muslim holidays to any corporate calendar and avoiding scheduling important meetings on the holidays is greatly appreciated. During Ramadan, Muslims fast by refraining from food and drink from pre-dawn to sunset. For example, the Dhuhr prayer occurs shortly after the sun reaches its zenith, a moment that shifts in clock time throughout the year. Muslim men are to be covered from the navel to the knee. Some employee may use some of their personal vacation during the last ten days of Ramadan to engage in extra devotion.

When he had work performance problems he was transferred to the pork production line, where he could be closely supervised. Or, perhaps you can schedule Muslim workers so that they are not at work at sunrise or sundown so that you need not accommodate the changing time of their prayer breaks. The following are some common religious practices which may impact some Muslim employees on the job and proposed workplace accommodations for them.

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At trial, the district court found persuasive the meat manufacturer's argument that the requested accommodation would constitute undue hardship. In addition, an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation for religious practices unless doing so would result in undue hardship. In those situations, it is going to be very difficult to solve the workplace problems through dialogue. Styles vary, but women wear clothing that covers the entire body except for the face and hands. It provides information on U.

A Muslim employee asks about accommodations for daily prayers
  • Muslims are required by their faith to observe five daily prayers during certain intervals.
  • Islam prescribes that women and men dress modestly.
  • Many Muslim employees, including some in Colorado, have walked off the job, claiming their prayer requests have been unlawfully denied.
  • The majority of these cases have been resolved upon explanation of religious beliefs or through threatened lawsuits.

These charges most commonly allege harassment and discharge. But in light of such complex issues, what are the legal obligations and how should an employer proceed? First, the time of prayer synchronizes with the movement of the sun, not clock time, so an employer may have difficulty scheduling prayer times that are constantly shifting. Both celebrations also follow the lunar calendar, the dating guy episodes so the dates move eleven days earlier each year and are determined by the sighting of the new moon.

Many of the charges have been filed by individuals who are or are perceived to be Muslim, Arab, South Asian, or Sikh. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Pilgrimage Muslim adults are required to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca hajj at least once in their lifetime if it is financially and physically possible. Once notified of a request for accommodation, find employers should undertake good faith efforts to assess the difficulties of accommodation and proceed accordingly.

Conclusion American Muslims are a growing part of the corporate landscape, contributing to all walks of life, in a variety of professions. The noon and afternoon prayers usually fall during regular work hours. The manufacturer pointed to safety issues resulting from disruption to the line, negative impacts on operational efficiency, and associated costs. The five daily prayers occur at dawn, mid-day, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nighttime.

Religious Accommodation for Muslim Employees - Workforce

Prayer Breaks Present Difficult Religious Accommodation Issue

Private security firms, on the other hand, do not enjoy what amounted in Webb to an exception for public paramilitary organizations on accommodating hijab -wearing employees. Employers with neutral policies regarding breaks who are still encountering issues accommodating prayers may need to scale back or adjust those policies. Accommodating prayer in the workplace can be intricate for several reasons. Recent news stories describe the tension between Muslim workers seeking multiple prayer breaks at specified times during their workday and employers who need those workers on their assembly lines. Several companies have already taken steps to accommodate their Muslim employees.

Working with Muslim Employees - Islamic Networks Group (ING)

Your employer is required to provide you with such an accommodation unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer's business. Linking limits on breaks and time away from workstations to maintaining productivity is a legitimate business interest. Legal action was taken in the case of seven women employed by Argenbright Security Inc.

Recently, employers in three states have faced actions from Muslim employees demanding increased accommodation for prayer in the workplace. However, a group of employees requested further accommodation for the Maghrib, or sunset prayer. Make sure employees know how to request an accommodation, whether for religious or disability reasons.

The religiously mandated head scarf known as hijab is often part of their modest attire, and women in head scarves should be treated in the same way as men who wear skull caps or turbans. Before praying, Muslims are required to wash their hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, and feet, which can be done in a bathroom sink. Each worker received a letter of apology, back pay for time missed, an additional payment, and payment of legal fees.

The Maghrib prayer, which occurs just after sunset, also often overlaps with normal working hours. Include a statement that the company will make reasonable accommodations unless doing so with impose an undue hardship on the company. Some employees may request a change in schedule to come in later since they may be up late at night for special night prayers. Attire Islam prescribes that both Muslim men and women behave and dress modestly and that they should be valued for their skills and character, not their physical attributes.

He even offered to come in early or stay late to make up for any lost time. The information contained in these blog posts is intended to convey general information only and not to provide specific legal advice or to form an attorney-client relationship. Most of the cases of discrimination have been against female employees who wear the religious head scarf or males who wear beards for religious reasons. Several years later, a hijab case did go to trial.

Field offices are located throughout the United States. American Muslims are a growing part of the corporate landscape, contributing to all walks of life, in a variety of professions. In the context of disputes about daily prayers, the gatekeeping function of undue hardship currently tends to favor employers.

Employers must investigate the extent of the hardship that the request will create. Observant Muslims also abstain from drinking alcohol. When pools of water began accumulating on the floors in some bathrooms at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the sinks began pulling away from the walls, has who the problem was easy to pinpoint. These intricacies are compounded by variation of belief and practice among Muslims themselves.

Let us pray the challenges of accommodating Muslim prayer in the workplace

Again, because of the emphasis on modesty between genders, some Muslims may be reluctant to shake the hand of an unrelated person of the opposite gender. Many Muslim employees may only wish to attend the Jumu'ah, the noon Friday congregational prayer, which is traditionally longer. How will the company keep up productivity if an employee is constantly taking prayer breaks? When that location was closed she was transferred to another location at which the manager told her that she could not work unless she ceased wearing her hijab. In our increasingly diverse and multi-cultural society, education, understanding, and tolerance are the keys to a harmonious workplace and society.

Accommodation may turn on context or, in some cases, on the attitude of supervision at a particular branch or operation. Employers can do different things to address these types of situations. Thank you and we look forward to serving you. Your employer is legally required to take steps to end harassment.

Working with Muslim Employees

While many employees feel powerless in this situation, the important thing to remember is that you have options. Instead, the employer must continue to grant any new accommodation requests until such time as another request would cause an undue hardship. The results have been decidedly mixed. Before an employee even makes a request for religious accommodation in the workplace, employers may want to set up policies on how an employee can do so in order to pray. Since hajj happens only once a year, speed dating hoboken it is challenging and expensive to reschedule a planned hajj.

Keep up with all the latest news! All five prayers are preceded by ritual ablutions of the hands, mouth, nose, face, ears, and feet. Since, in your situation, there is also overall workplace tension, another option would be training for all employees addressing harassment in the workplace. After he was terminated he sued.

Employers Lawyers Blog

June 8 2016

  1. Just how far do I have to go to accommodate this practice?
  2. Reasonable Religious Accommodation and Undue Hardship.
  3. During the prayer, Muslims quietly recite from the Quran and other prayers as they stand, bow, and prostrate themselves.
  4. Harmonizing salah, or Muslim prayer, with the workday presents cultural and logistic challenges to employers unfamiliar with Islam.
  5. Follow the employer's complaint procedure, if it has one, or notify a manager or other company official.
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