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EEOC issues new guidance on religious garb and grooming

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

In an attempt to clarify employers’ rights and responsibilities under Title VII’s prohibition against religious discrimination, the EEOC has issued a new guidance document regarding religious clothing and grooming in the workplace.

Title VII requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations of an employee’s religious practices, as long as doing so does not cause the employer an undue burden.

The new publication is designed to help employers manage this sometimes tricky balancing act. Titled “Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities,” the guidance addresses:

  • Prohibitions against job segregation, such as relegating employees who wear religious clothing to positions that don’t serve customers
  • Accommodating religious grooming or dress practices while ensuring employer workplace needs
  • Avoiding workplace religious harassment based on religion, such as requiring an employee to forgo religious dress or grooming practices as a condition of employment

The entire publication can be found online at the EEOC's website.

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