Employers must provide reasonable accommodation for an employee's religious beliefs or practices. Flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, and lateral transfers are examples of religious accommodations. In addition, employers are prohibited from scheduling examinations or other selection activities in conflict with a job applicant's religious practices, maintain a restrictive dress code, or refuse to allow observance of a Sabbath or religious holiday unless the employer can prove that the accommodation would create an undue hardship.
Generally, an undue hardship is measured in terms of the employer's size and resources. A large employer, for example, may have an easier time finding a temporary replacement for an employee who is absent for religious reasons than would a small employer with fewer economic or human resources. Currently, an employer can claim undue hardship if allowing the accommodation requires more than ordinary administrative costs. Undue hardship may also be shown if changing a bona fide seniority system to accommodate one employee's religious practices denies another employee the job or shift preference guaranteed by the seniority system.
Reviewed December 2014