Sunday, July 28, 2013724.282.2494 437 North Duffy Road, Butler, Pennsylvania 16001 www.VisitNTBC.comThe New Testament Baptist Church of Butler, Pennsylvania
The Workplace is Becoming Increasingly Hostile Toward Christians
Employers are becoming increasingly more hostile to employee's religious beliefs, especially when it comes to anemployee's conviction not to work on Sundays.
The law requires that an employer with 15 or more employees provide what is called a religious accommodationfor employees who have religious convictions against a job requirement, such as a conviction that they arerequired to attend church on Sundays or they are required not to perform work on Sundays.
In order for an employee to claim the legal right to be accommodated in his religious beliefs under Title VII of theCivil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et seq.), two preliminary steps must be taken.
First of all, the law requires that the employee have a sincerely held religious belief that his religion requireshim, to be in church on Sundays and/or not to work on Sundays.Secondly, that the employer is put on notice as to the employee's religious conviction and need for anaccommodation. Generally, it is best if this notice is given to the employer in writing.
Once the employer has been given that notice, the employer is not free to disregard its employee's religiousconviction. Instead, the employer (if it employs 15 or more employees) is legally required to accommodate thereligious conviction to be in church on Sundays, or not to perform work on Sundays. Several court cases haveaddressed this specific issue. In one case, the court held that the law makes it "an unlawful employment practice...for an employer not to make reasonable accommodations, short of undue hardship, for the religious practices ofhis employees and prospective employees." TWA v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63, 74 (1977).The only exception an employer can use to deny accommodation of a sincerely held religious belief is if it canprove that granting the accommodation will cause an undue burden on the company. There must be specificevidence of an actual hardship on thecompany, not just speculation on the part ofthe employer that hardship might occur. Thehardship must be more than what is referred toin the law as "de minimus" (trivial).
If there is no undue burden on the company,the employer is required to take any reasonable step necessary to accommodatethe employee. Both sides are required to work together to ensure the accommodationdisrupts the workplace as little as possible whilestill preserving the employee's religiousconvictions.If an employee is not accommodated in hisreligious belief, he may file a complaint withthe Equal Employment Opportunity agency.
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