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I have been employed with the same employer past four years…

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Hello, I have been employed...
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: 2 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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2/3/2016
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 2 years ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,246
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

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.

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Customer reply replied 2 years 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?
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 2 years 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.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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