Kegler Brown E-mployment Alert September 11, 2007
(Wednesday) is the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the high holy days for Jewish individuals. It is also the first day of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims. Employees may be seeking time off or other accommodations for observing these important religious holidays.
What is required? Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion. These laws are applied much like the ADA or disability discrimination laws. More than just the admonition not to discriminate, that means that employers must reasonably accommodate religious-based requests, unless it can be shown that meeting the request would pose an “undue hardship.” This rule applies in the context of requests for time off or scheduled changes to observe the holidays.