Accommodating religion

Create Policy - Organizations are also encouraged to adopt policies that allow for flexibility in the number of days off for religious observance.Case law has suggested that employers should, at a minimum, provide employees with paid religious days off to the extent of the number of religious Christian days that are also statutory holidays."It has been mostly ignored in the workplace (compared to race, ethnicity and gender.) But, increasingly people are talking about it and now they are starting to do something about it." Why it has taken so long for faith to be recognized as something employees can bring to the workplace is a mystery.Religion and disability hold the distinction of being the only areas employers must accommodate under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, meaning they must ensure that the disabled can perform their assignments and workers can observe their faith. Allow Flexibility in Accommodating Requests for Days Off - When an employee requests time off to observe a holy day, the employer has an obligation to accommodate the employee.

A recent study by social scientists at Brandeis University showed faith is a powerful influence on the choices religious people make about their occupations, as well as to where they live, who they marry and how many children they have.

Dubenksy said 9/11 was a turning point that put a bright light on religious discrimination against Muslims in the workplace.

As a result of the complaints, awareness by employees and employers of religious rights in the workplace took hold and has grown ever since.

"People who place a high premium on religion are going to factor religion into their decision-making and choice of jobs," said Emily Sigalow, an author of the study published in the June 2012 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

"Faith informs and motivates decisions in complicated ways." An example of that complicated connection is the experience of Scott Thompson, a 48-year-old public relations professional who recently took a new job handling media relations and marketing for a hospital network in Tacoma, Wash.

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This approach is consistent with the understanding that accommodation is a means of removing the barriers which prevent persons from enjoying equality of opportunity in a way which is sensitive to their individual circumstances.

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