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An employee or job applicant seeking an accommodation must provide the employer with express notice of the conflict between the employment requirement and his or her religious beliefs, but employers must ensure that this notice is recognized, and referred to the proper department.Second, employers who receive a request for accommodation should engage in an interactive process to determine whether the employee’s requested accommodation is reasonable or constitutes undue hardship, and whether other reasonable accommodations exist.If you were to ask me what advancement has made the greatest impact on our training at Westside Barbell in the past five years, I'd have to say accommodating resistance.Before I get into the specifics behind this type of training let me step back in time.Then the company hired a new administrator who refused to allow the employee to take off Sundays, telling her "that God would excuse her from working on Sundays" because she worked in the healthcare field and, in no uncertain terms, told her that if she didn’t work on Sundays, "there’s the door." Not surprisingly, the EEOC concluded that the company’s actions constituted a violation of Title VII and reached a settlement with the company that required the company to pay ,500 and furnish other relief, including requiring the company to amend its anti-discrimination policy, conduct annual training on religious discrimination, and post an anti-discrimination policy for 5 years.
First, employers should make sure their managers are aware that when an employee says he or she cannot perform the job or needs an exception from a company policy and the employee links that request to his or her religious beliefs, managers should seek guidance from Human Resources.
This case revolved around an employee who worked as a dietary services manager in one of the company’s healthcare centers.
During most of her time at the healthcare center, she was rarely required to work on Sundays because of her religious observances.
As most employers are probably aware, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only prohibits employment discrimination based on religion, but it also requires employers to take steps to reasonably accommodate religious beliefs of applicants or employees. Let’s look at a few examples based on the EEOC’s recent activity.
In March, the EEOC settled a lawsuit with an assisted living company over the company’s failure to let an employee take Sunday off.