We live in an interesting age where science and technology must work, in many cases, hand in hand with religion – at least in terms of accepting and accommodating the religious beliefs of others in the workplace. Whether you are a manager or business owner, or a person with beliefs that are important to you, you have certain legal rights and responsibilities. At the Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd., we understand the ways in which Nevada businesses must uphold federal laws regarding religious rights in the workplace.
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers must accommodate the religious practices and beliefs of their employees and applicants. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that traditional religious beliefs, such as Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism, and new and informal beliefs are all protected under the act. What might this mean for you as an employee? Examples might include the following:
- Your religious beliefs might prohibit working on Saturday or Sunday.
- Your religion may necessitate a certain manner of dress, such as a head covering or a long skirt instead of pants.
- You may have an occasional schedule request, such as needing Good Friday off for church services.
- Your beliefs may make you uncomfortable performing certain tasks, such as filling birth control prescriptions or (if you are an atheist) participating in staff prayers.
- You have any other spiritual beliefs or practices that could reasonably be requested or accommodated within the scope of your employment.
If you are a business owner or manager in Las Vegas, you would be expected to accommodate the religious beliefs of your employees, as long as they do not pose an undue hardship for your company or staff. For example, you could allow employees to voluntarily switch schedules to accommodate one’s beliefs. You would not, however, be required to make any accommodations that cost your company more than a minimal amount, threaten another employee’s seniority, jeopardize anyone’s health or create any other unreasonable hardship.
If a company violates an employee’s religious rights, it could open the door to employment disputes or commercial litigation. To learn more, visit our page on business litigation.