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Religious accommodations

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. An employee of ours is requesting a personal day off for religious observance. He is salaried and has exhausted all vacation and personal time. Are we required to give him the day off?

A. You should provide a reasonable accommodation for his request for time off as unpaid leave. An employer cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of religious beliefs unless it shows that it cannot reasonably accommodate his religious needs without placing undue hardship on the business.

It is highly unlikely that a court would consider a request for an unpaid day off as unreasonable. Thus, unless you can clearly demonstrate an actual undue hardship to the business by allowing the unpaid day off, you should provide it as a reasonable accommodation. 

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