In Oklahoma, employees’ religious rights are protected under state and federal law. You have the right to reasonable accommodations for your religious practices, so long as they do not present an undue hardship to your employer. This means that during Ramadan, you should be able to take breaks for iftar and prayer and take time off for Eid, except in very specific circumstances. Below are some best practices that will help you request accommodations and respond if your requests are not being respected.
- Begin the process early so that your employer has adequate notice. Your employer should have a handbook or other guidance outlining procedures for these requests.
- Make your request in writing. Even if you’ve already spoken with your manager, HR, supervisor, etc., follow up with a written letter or email.
- When you make your request, be clear that it is for your religious beliefs or practices.
- Keep your own personal records of how your request was made, the people you spoke to, and what responses were given. If your request was not addressed or accommodated, note the dates you made them and the time that has elapsed without a response.
- Be respectful when requesting an accommodation. You don’t need to recite the law in the first request. Most employers are willing to work with you to accommodate your requests – don’t threaten to quit or become aggressive!
- If your request is refused, carefully note who you spoke to, what they said, and what reasons were given. Attention to detail is key.
Whether or not your request constitutes an “undue hardship” is determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered include the cost of the accommodation, if the accommodation would jeopardize workplace safety or efficiency, and whether it would infringe on other employees’ rights.
Your employer is not required by law to provide the exact accommodation that you requested. If they have given you a “reasonable” accommodation, they have fulfilled their legal obligations.
For assistance or questions on requesting religious accommodations, please contact the CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or using our convenient online reporting form at cairoklahoma.com/request-legal-help