Religious Accommodations

Mitchell Saum
October 31, 2023

Religious Accommodation:

Our partner employers take religious accommodation requests seriously. However, many employers operate as a 7-days-a-week company and cannot fulfill every accommodation request because this would create a substantial burden on their business.  

Under American law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and by the government agency that handles claims of discrimination (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – EEOC), employers may not discriminate based on an employee’s religion and must make reasonable accommodations when an employee’s religious beliefs conflict with workplace rules. However, employers do not have to make those accommodations if doing so would result in a substantial burden and increased cost to their business operations. "Substantial burden" is evaluated based on the nature, size, and operating cost of the business.

While most of our sponsors we work with will try to accommodate work schedule requests, there is no guarantee that your employer will be able to work with your restricted schedule. We have many Seventh Day Adventist clients who observe the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and request to not work these days. Especially for employers that are restaurants, they cannot afford to hire employees that cannot work on their busiest days of the week. If the company would be required to pay someone overtime or a shift premium to cover an employee, this could create a substantial increased cost for the company and the company may decide to deny requests for schedule changes.

For more, check out our conversation with Licensed Immigration Attorney Amanda Breen.

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