Employers typically should assume that a request for religious accommodation is based on a sincerely held religious belief. However, if the employer has a valid and objective reason to request more information from an employee or to doubt the validity of a request, they may ask additional questions, tailored for the individual assessment being conducted.
The EEOC identified the following factors that might undermine the credibility of an employee's claim:
According to the EEOC, when an employer requests additional information, employees should provide information that addresses the employer’s reasonable doubts. That information need not, however, take any specific form. An employee who fails to cooperate with an employer’s reasonable request for verification of the sincerity or religious nature of a professed belief risks losing any subsequent claim that the employer improperly denied an accommodation. EEOC Guidance, Section 12: Religious Discrimination.
If you have questions about assessing an employee’s request for religious accommodations, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860.