Q. We are a nonunion plant that uses a seniority-based bidding system for work shifts. A recent hire has complained that due to his lack of seniority, he is consistently being scheduled to work on Saturday, which is his Sabbath. Do we have to accommodate his religion by honoring his request to never work on Saturdays?
A. Probably not. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer must accommodate an employee’s religious-based request as long as it does not cause an undue hardship for the employer. One of the most common requests is to be excused from particular workdays or shifts.
For larger companies, such requests are often found to be reasonable, even if they create some additional administrative work for supervisors or scheduling coordinators. For smaller companies that employ a limited number of people, courts are often more sympathetic to claims that accommodating regular days off is an undue hardship.
Courts have consistently held, however, that a company’s obligation to comply with a bona fide (that is, established, consistent and fair) seniority system supersedes most requests for religious accommodations. Thus, if accommodating a request for particular dates and times off would result in a disruption to your company’s established bidding system, there is a strong argument that accommodating the request would constitute an undue hardship for the business.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3972/religious-accommodation-and-seniority "