Religious Accommodations: Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

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:

  • The employee has acted inconsistently with the professed belief. However, the EEOC said, "employees need not be scrupulous in their observance."
  • The employee is seeking a "particularly desirable" accommodation that is likely to be sought for nonreligious reasons.
  • The timing of the request is suspicious. For example, the employee may have recently requested the same benefit for secular reasons and been denied.
  • The employer otherwise has reason to believe the accommodation is not sought for religious reasons.

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.

Honoring our Veterans

As part of our ongoing support of the Topeka Community, we would like to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on Channel 27 News and their weekly Veteran Salute segment. 

This week, Channel 27 highlighted John Dietrick's service in Vietnam. To read the full article or watch the full interview, click on the image below or click here. 

We are thankful to John, and all our Veterans, for their service! 

 

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What our clients say...

Schendel Lawn and Landscape

Brent Boles
Co-Owner
Schendel Lawn and Landscape

"Schendel works with HR Partners in several different capacities over a five state area. They answer our questions about employment law, help train our management staff to be better leaders, and ensure our employee policies and procedures are legally sound and in the best interests of both Schendel and our co-workers.

I've always found the HR Partners teamf to be very knowledgeable, friendly and easy to work with. The relationship we have formed with them helps protect both our company and our co-workers, and I feel it is very beneficial to Schendel."