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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118253
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have been employed with the same employer past four years

Customer Question

Hello, I have been employed with the same employer for the past four years and I keep my hair covered due to religious reasons. Now Human Resources is requiring me to fill out a religious accommodation form. Are they able to do that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Actually, yes, legally if an employer has a dress code they enforce against all employees and you need to have the hair covering for some legitimate religious reason, then you need to ask for a religious accommodation and they can actually make you show it is a sincerely ***** ***** religious belief. Now, if it is a sincerely ***** ***** belief and does not interfere with safety of operations of the employer and they deny you, then you can file a complaint to the Commission on Human Rights and have them investigate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
However in the company handbook it states that if I were to have Locks "they must be pulled back or placed in a head wrap" and no accommodation form is required. But because my reasoning is due to religion I need to be accommodated. How is that ethical?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I understand, but just because an employer is asking you to file the accommodation request is not discrimination. Locks are a bit different in that they are a hair style associated with a religion and that is covered in the handbook. The employer cannot cover every potential situation in a handbook. The mere asking for you to request an accommodation is not unlawful discrimination. If they DENY you accommodation, then you have a case against them if they cannot prove some legitimate safety reason or business reason.