The recent publication by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) of proposed revisions to its regulations governing Executive Order 11246’s religious exemption also serves as a reminder that religion is a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and that employers have an obligation to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and practices.
Accordingly, NT Lakis attorneys have prepared a guide focused primarily on responding to requests for religious accommodations, with a focus on best practices to avoid potential religious discrimination and failure-to-accommodate claims.
A complaint filed in federal court this summer by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging failure to accommodate under Title VII is useful for framing the topic. Although the complaint at this point contains nothing more than unsubstantiated allegations, it does provide a typical example of how complaints of religious discrimination and failure to accommodate can arise.
Please note that this guide is designed to convey general information and is not intended to provide legal advice. Employers are advised to consult with legal counsel anytime a specific religious accommodation issue arises.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.