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Accommodating religion in the 21st century workplace

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

by Robert C. Ludolph and Adam A. Wolfe, Esqs., Pepper Hamilton LLP

There was a time when people just didn’t discuss religion in polite company. Today, public expressions of religious beliefs and practice fill the workplace.

Employers are often reluctant, however, to raise concerns over the impact of an employee’s religious practices. Those issues generally aren’t considered to be job-related, and the fear is that addressing them might cause a discrimination lawsuit.

Complaints on the rise

In the years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, religious discrimination claims have spiked to twice the number filed in 2001. Employees with sincere religious beliefs increasingly seek accommodations when they face a conflict with inflexible job requirements.

On religious matters, employers and the courts look for guidance on the duty to accommodate found in the ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. While accommodating an employee...(register to read more)

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