Federal Manager's Daily Report

EEOC has issued a new fact sheet on religious discrimination, following an interagency meeting at the White House on the issue.

The fact sheet notes that the law protects employees practicing not only traditional religions but also those that are “newer or less common,” and further protects employees from being compelled into a religious activity at work.

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It says that an employer must make a change in workplace practices to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices “if it would cause little to no burden” on the employer. Management further can’t require employees from attending prayer meetings or prohibit employees from praying during breaks, and must excuse employees from participation in an activity that is not religious, but conflicts with their religious beliefs, if excusing the employee would pose little or no burden on the employer.

Harassment based on religious beliefs is prohibited and it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against someone for reporting discrimination or participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit, it adds.

“Some religions may be associated with a certain national origin. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against or harass employees because of their actual or perceived religion, national origin, or both,” it says.