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Accommodation of Religion in the Workplace: A Primer

Of the various types of discrimination employers have known they must not commit for 50 years, discrimination based on religion remains one of the most challenging. Unlike race, gender, age and similar “immutable” characteristics, religion is more than what someone is; it is also what someone practices and believes. Therefore, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 sometimes requires that employers treat people differently because of their religion. In further contrast, one does not “preach” an immutable characteristic by trying to convince others to change race, age, or gender, but many feel comfortable, or even obligated, to share religious views with others and possibly even try to convert them. The challenge of accommodating religious practices without fundamentally altering the workplace keeps employers and their HR teams up at night. Here are some practical tips for understanding and handling these sometimes conflicting challenges. Read More ›