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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20228
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I was granted a religious exemption flu shot. My employer

Customer Question

I was granted a religious exemption for the flu shot. My employer told me that I need to
get a letter from a minister or who ever was in charge. When I let my employer know that
I do not need a minister, I can write my own statement of belief. They told me to come back when the flu season was over. I ask my supervisor when the flu season was over,
she did not know and instructed me to call rite aide to find out when the season was over.
I believe both my civil rights are violated and a religious discrimination violation is in order.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information. I assume you are asking what your options are if you believe your religious accommodation rights have been violated. First, I must tell you that no one, other than the EEOC or a court of law, can make a determination as to whether a specific set of facts is or is not substantiated discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These cases are very fact specific and dependent on all of the details from all party's perspective. In addition, religious accommodation issues are even more fact and individual specific. So, you will have to file a complaint with the EEOC if you want to pursue this further and consider hiring a local employment law attorney who can gather all of the facts from all sides and advise you whether you should wait for the EEOC to try to resolve the issue or go ahead and file suit after your EEOC complaint is filed.

What I can tell you is, that normally, you are right, most cases of requests for religious accommodation do not require that support be provided by a particular religion, denomination or group. However, there is a small carved out exception for when an employer has an objective basis for questioning the sincerity of the employee's religious beliefs. In those cases there is a right to dig a bit deeper, but how deep depends on all of the facts and circumstances and whether the employee has cooperated by providing a bit more explanation or support when asked. The best thing for you to do is to read the advisory opinion by the EEOC at the following link. It actually addresses the influenza vaccine and a couple of issues, including religious accommodation and the steps the employer can and cannot take in making the determination about reasonable accommodation. That accommodation is not an absolute right, but couched in terms of there being a sincere religious belief and also a lack of undue hardship on the employer.

If, after reading the guidance at the link below, you believe that you may have a legitimate claim, you should immediately file your complaint with the EEOC (assuming that you have already dealt with your HR Department on the accommodation issue. If not, you must file a complaint with them first and give them a chance to resolve it), and sit down with a local employment law attorney to discuss all of the details.

This is the link:

Please feel free to ask for clarification after you have read the guidance if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 4th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.