Five Tips For Handling Tricky Religious Accommodations

Steven T. Collis by Steven T. Collis When an employee’s religious beliefs conflict with a workplace policy, you need to consider whether a reasonable accommodation can be made, without creating an undue hardship. Many times, these religious accommodations present challenging issues for supervisors and HR professionals, but these five tips can help ease the struggle. Tip #1: Consider each request individually When an applicant or employee first tells you that her religious beliefs won’t allow her to comply with one of your policies, don’t assume that an accommodation will be difficult or expensive. Many times, you may be able to offer an accommodation that is easy and inexpensive and that works for all involved. For example, if your grooming policy requires male employees to wear short and neatly trimmed hair styles and a new male employee informs you that he must keep his hair long based on his religious beliefs, you could simply allow him to tie his hair in a…

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