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More Requests for Religious Accommodations?

When confronted with a request for an accommodation, an employer must judge the “reasonableness” of the request.

September 20, 2015

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse

Recent news articles highlight individuals who claim religious beliefs prevent them from performing certain job duties. The media attention given to these stories may prompt more employees to ask for religious accommodations.

When confronted with a request for a religious accommodation, an employer must judge the “reasonableness” of the request. Some accommodations are relatively cheap and easy to make; others are not. For example, an office worker’s request to shorten her lunch break so she can take a morning prayer break will likely be easy to accommodate whereas a flight attendant’s request not to serve alcoholic beverages may be much harder to accommodate. But, even a simple request may become complicated and expensive to accommodate if multiple employees make the same request. For example, if every pharmacy employee asks to be excused from filling contraceptive prescriptions, the employer may have a difficult time meeting customer demand. When evaluating an employee’s request, an employer should focus only on the request itself and not on the sincerity of the employee’s belief unless the employer has a good reason for questioning it.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney about workplace matters, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705.