In summary, employers should use these best practices when dealing with religion in the workplace.Most HR professionals and managers encounter religion at work in some capacity, and dealing with it can be a sensitive issue. Encountering Religion in the Workplace: The Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers Please note that by providing you with research information that may be contained in this article, ERC is not providing a qualified legal opinion.Religious conduct, however, is not acceptable when it is harassing, disruptive, uncomfortable, or coercive.If another employee is offended by the conduct, employers should take steps to investigate and end it.For example, excessive religious discussion is a common form of conduct that can be taken too far and make other employees uncomfortable.Organizations sometimes hold religious biases or beliefs, such as a religious mission or purpose, and may ask unlawful questions about employees' religious activities and beliefs in the hiring process to select candidates that hold these same beliefs.
The courts say that an employee's religious beliefs should function as a "religion" in his or her life, but that religious beliefs should not be confused with personal preferences.
Although religious beliefs do not need to be widely acceptable, logical, or consistent with others' beliefs, there should be evidence that religious beliefs are sincerely held and are honest convictions.
That being said, courts rarely question the sincerity of employees' religious beliefs, so from a compliance perspective, employers should be cautious in trying to determine whether an employee's set of religious beliefs is truly a religion (Source: Gregory, R.).
When these situations emerge, employers must determine if a conflict between a job requirement and an employee's religious practice can be accommodated without undue hardship.
In many cases, organizations can accommodate religious observances easily through allowing substitutions and shift swapping.