When pondering the concept of religion, you can assume one thing: every person in the United States has religious freedom. Now before you make any assumptions, think about the statement again. Every person has a religious preference to believe or not believe.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers must provide a reasonable accommodation for requests that are based on employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on their business operations. Employers must provide a workplace free from religious discrimination (including harassment).
Employees cannot recruit other employees to worship their God(s) while at work. Your right to believe in praying or worshiping on your lunch or break is protected, as long as those activities do not prevent the day-to-day operations of the business. Human Resource and managers will have you request in writing your religious accommodation needs. Once the request is reviewed and approved, a decision will be rendered that would help prevent retaliation or discrimination of the religious practice on that employer’s break or lunch times.
Should the religious accommodation be denied, the reasoning for denial would need to not violate the law or the employer could face legal actions https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/backlash-employer.html. If your religion prevents you from cutting your facial hair or hair on your head, the employer could say your religion would lead you to violate sanitary codes in the restaurant (if you refuse to wear protective garments such as a chin strap or hair net). An employer could not say your religious beliefs interfered with work if you prayed in an unused office space during your lunch and break. Communicating with your employer is the key!
Debraca Russell M.B.A
Certified Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW/CC)