In preparation for Ramadan, CAIR-OK has prepared this short guide on your civil rights in the workplace so that you may fully take advantage of the blessings of this month. We hope that you will share this primer with your friends and family to ensure that they too are empowered to assert their rights.
The following information is only meant to serve as a guide and not as legal advice. For advice specific to your circumstances, please contact CAIR-OK’s Civil Rights Department.
Did you know that you are entitled to prayer and iftar breaks, as well as time off for Eid? Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and particularly section 42 U.S.C § 2000e(j) allows an employee to take time off for sincerely held beliefs, as long as he or she gives sufficient notice and the accommodation does not result in an undue hardship for the employer. If an employer is exempt from federal law, you may still be protected by state law.
Here are some do’s and don’ts on how to request a religious accommodation:
- Do follow your employer’s policies when requesting an accommodation. Before making your request, review your employer’s policy and follow any procedures stated in the employee manual regarding notification and requesting time off.
- Do make clear that the reason you’re requesting the accommodation is because of a religious belief or practice.
- Do keep a personal record of when and how your request was made, and whether and how it was accommodated. Keep all records of communication regarding your need for time off or other accommodation.
- Do follow up verbal requests in writing to ensure a written record is kept. Make sure to keep records of all requests, written and verbal.
- Don’t recite the law when requesting accommodation. Most employers will work with you to accommodate your requests for prayer and iftar breaks and time off on Eid.
To ensure your religious accommodation requests are granted, it is best to begin by following your employer’s procedures.
If, however, your reasonable requests for prayer and iftar breaks are not accommodated, please contact CAIR-OK’s Civil Rights Department immediately so we may try to assist you.