New EEOC Guidance on Religious Discrimination and Accommodation


​​What is the EEOC?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency started by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to mitigate workplace discrimination by investigating discrimination cases on every employer covered by the law. The commission files cases for victims of workplace discrimination against discriminative employers. It investigates cases related to a person’s nationality, religious affiliation, handicap, sexual preference, gender, age, and color. The EEOC also guides the latter by creating guidelines and defining the law for all employers and employees. 

EEOC laws cover most employers with more than 15 employees. However, for age bias cases, the employer has to have more than 20 employees. EEOC also covers some labor unions and employment agencies all over the country. The following are the sectors in employment that the EEOC provides laws for:

Whenever the law on illegal employment discrimination is broken and reported, the EEOC investigates fairly to ascertain that the charges in the allegations are true. If it is proven that discrimination occurred, the EEOC will try settling the charge. If a decision is not reached, the EEOC has the authority to file lawsuits to protect everyone’s rights and public interests. The commission is headquartered in Washington D.C and has 53 field offices serving all parts of the country.

Basics of Religious Discrimination Law at Work

Religious discrimination at work involves treating a candidate for a position or a working employee unfairly due to the person’s religious beliefs. The EEOC does not enforce compliance on popular traditional religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity, alone, but also protects those holding religious, ethical, and moral beliefs. 

Religious discrimination is also defined by the EEOC to cover all cases involving the treatment of an individual differently due to their association with or marriage to someone of a particular religion.

The following are some broad categories covered by the EEOC: 

Recent Revisions to the Guidelines

The EEOC recently revised and approved some of its guidelines on the Compliance Manual Section on Religious Discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that employers must accommodate all employees’ beliefs provided the accommodation doesn’t create excessive problems for the employer. The guidance states that an employer may reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious beliefs by enabling flexible scheduling such as prayer breaks agreed on swaps of shifts or transfers for the sake of religious piety.

Furthermore, the employer can adjust workplace processes or routines to respect an individual’s religious beliefs. For example, suppose a shop attendant has a religious objection to alcohol use. In that case, the attendant could be allowed to involve a colleague to assist clients who wish to make such purchases. It is not wise to transfer the worker but to accommodate them.

 The new EEOC Guidance also defines that undue hardships should factor in identifiable costs concerning operational costs and the number of employees to be accommodated.  Furthermore, the guidance also encourages interactive dialogue to assess whether the accommodation would be reasonable by engaging both employer and employee to assess which accommodation would be reasonable to favor employers operational costs and employee’s religious beliefs to avoid undue hardships on both parties. 

Get a Los Angeles Workplace Discrimination Attorney Today

Getting a Los Angeles workplace harassment attorney can benefit you because employment lawyers are experienced in advocating for such EEOC issues. They will include all relevant information necessary to fight for your case. 

Workplace lawyers Los Angeles will help you file your case in court without delay experienced waiting for EEOC interviews. Orange county workplace lawyers are a good option before pursuing an EEOC interview