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Limit requests for employees to prove religious need to be exempt from grooming code

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs and practices.

Accommodations may include exemptions from dress codes, such as those that require male employees to be clean-shaven or female employees to wear pants. After all, some religions require men to wear beards; others require women to wear skirts.

Before accommodating those dress practices, employers can ask for some kind of proof of the religious custom that demands an exception—usually a letter from the employee explaining the practice and stating that he or she adheres to it.

Once that letter is on file, however, employers should be careful about again demanding that the employee explain the practice or produce evidence of its validity. Frequent haranguing may create a religiously hostile work environment, and could constitute discrimination based on religion.

Recent case: Daoud is a practicing Muslim. At the age of 70, he was hired ...(register to read more)

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