First Liberty Briefing: Are Employers Required to Accommodate the Religion of Their Employees?

First Liberty Briefing: Are Employers Required to Accommodate the Religion of Their Employees? February 28, 2017

Many employers provide religious accommodation for their employees but are they required to? Learn about Linda Tisby’s case at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.

Thank you for joining us for the First Liberty Briefing, an exclusive podcast where host Jeremy Dys—also First Liberty Senior Counsel—provides an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.

Linda Tisby worked as a corrections officer for the Camden County Correctional Facility in New Jersey. In 2015, she became a member of the Sunni Muslim faith. When she showed up to work as a Muslim for the first time, she was wearing a khimar – a religious head covering. Her supervisor said that that did not comply with the uniform policy; but Tisby refused to remove it.

Are Employers Required to Accommodate the Religion of Their Employees?
Image: Joey McGuire

She was sent home with disciplinary charges and eventually, she sought a religious accommodation from the department. But the warden refused, stating that the allowing of such a head covering would be an undue hardship for the facility. She refused to comply with the uniform policy and she was fired.

The warden maintained throughout the litigation that followed that the uniform policy applied uniformly and that no exceptions had been made to allow religious head coverings. The court recognized the sincerity of Tisby’s believes but agreed with the warden, finding that his concerns for safety and security were legitimate, nondiscriminatory, and any accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the correctional facility.

Employers are not required to sacrifice the safety and security of their employees to accommodate the religion of their employees. But, it is good to know that the law provides such deference to an employee – that an employer has to show that they did everything they could to accommodate an employee’s religion.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting Religious Liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

First Liberty Institute is the largest organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans. Find out more here.

(This podcast is by First Liberty Briefing. Discovered by e2 media network and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not emedia network, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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