• Thursday, Nov. 2
  • 1:00 ET
  • 10:00 PT

The New Rules for Religious Accommodations

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Crafting Policies to Address Religious Needs and Minimize Conflict

In this 75-minute interactive online training, you will learn how to:

  • Design a religious accommodation process that complies with Supreme Court and EEOC rules.

  • Determine whether you must excuse a worker from a project because of religious objections.

  • Juggle conflicting religious beliefs and practices without unduly impacting morale and business operations.

Unlocking the secrets: Navigating the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions on religious accommodations in the workplace

Two recent Supreme Court decisions have completely upended how employers have to accommodate workers’ religious beliefs and practices. First, employers must show significant economic costs impacting business before turning down a request for time off to practice one’s religion. This means an explosion of requests for reasonable accommodations, growing co-worker resentment and massive management headaches for employers. Second, the Supreme Court recognized a new religious free speech right that may mean workers can refuse to perform job tasks they deem contrary to their sincerely held beliefs. Turning down those requests will also require employers to show substantial economic impact. 

EEOC complaints alleging religious discrimination, harassment and denial of reasonable accommodations for religious needs have skyrocketed almost 700% from 2,111 cases in 2021 to 13,814 cases in 2022! The federal agency charged with enforcing Title VII’s religious discrimination provisions is aggressively litigating cases involving turned-down accommodation requests and forced participation in employer-required religious meetings, prayer circles and other practices that conflict with some workers’ own religious beliefs and practices.

The key to navigating the new rules is a solid accommodation process that begins with the first request and ends with a carefully documented accommodation or denial designed to stand up to legal challenges. That process should also manage lingering co-worker resentment by offering incentives for voluntary schedule swapping and other assistance with managing competing time-off requests.

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Agenda for The New Rules for Religious Accommodations

  • Learn all about the most recent Supreme Court religious discrimination and accommodations decisions and what they mean for most employers
  • Refresh your understanding of what qualifies as a religion under Title VII and therefore entitles the believer to a reasonable accommodation
  • Discover what’s behind the skyrocketing number of EEOC religious discrimination cases
  • How to adjust your reasonable accommodations process for disabilities and pregnancy to incorporate reasonable accommodations requests for religious needs
  • Why every religious accommodation request should be in writing and what questions your form should include
  • What to do if you suspect an employee’s religious accommodation request isn’t sincere
  • Why you may have to accommodate lack of religion, too
  • Exactly what documentation you need to create if you’re going to turn down a religious accommodation request
  • How to handle competing religious needs in the workplace and the limits of proselytizing

Interactive Q&A time included

Anniken will be available to answer all your questions surrounding religious accommodations.

Anniken Davenport is a noted employment law attorney and the editor of the HR Specialist: Employment Law newsletter series. She has authored several books, including Bullet-Proof Your Employee Handbook and Overtime & Other Tricky Pay Issues, published by HR Specialist. She is a co-author of the upcoming Labor & Employment Law for the 21st Century by Prentice Hall. Anniken has served as a professor at Penn State University, where she taught business law and HR management, and she directed the Legal Studies Program at Wilson College. Her legal career includes representing government units in discrimination and other employment law cases and representing school districts in labor negotiations.

Anniken Davenport
Anniken Davenport Attorney and author
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Professional Certification Credit Hours Included With This Webinar

Business Management Daily is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDC) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.

The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Register now and receive these free bonuses!

Religious Accommodations Flowchart

Use this detailed chart to navigate religious accommodations requests — from the interactive process through the undue hardship test and steps to take before you can deny or terminate.

4 free issues of The HR Weekly

You'll also receive one month of exclusive access to The HR Weekly – our comprehensive service with all the HR advice and compliance tools to simplify your job … and to keep your organization out of court. So that you continue to benefit from The HR Weekly, we will continue your subscription after that for the then current rate, unless you tell us "no, thanks" – your choice.

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