EEOC publishes revised handbook on non secular discrimination
On January 15, 2021, the Equal Employment Alternative Fee (EEOC) launched up to date steering for its Non secular Discrimination Compliance Handbook, the primary vital replace since 2008.
Within the up to date handbook, the EEOC offers vital clarifications concerning Title VII non secular discrimination legal guidelines within the office. These clarifications embody the definition of “faith”, the kinds of organizations eligible for the non secular organizations exemption, and the circumstances by which employers should make affordable lodging for non secular causes.
Definition of “faith”.
The up to date handbook makes it clear that employers should acknowledge that Title VII protects all approaches to faith, together with the absence of spiritual religion. The handbook states that “The non-discrimination provisions of the legislation additionally shield workers who should not have non secular beliefs or who interact in non secular practices.”
Organizations eligible for the non secular group exemption.
The Title VII non secular group exemption permits “a qualifying non secular group to argue as a protection in opposition to an allegation of discrimination or retaliation in Title VII that it made the contested hiring resolution on the idea of faith”. The brand new EEOC pointers make it clear that no single issue is decisive in assessing whether or not a corporation is eligible for the exemption, together with whether or not the group is for-profit, which was an exclusion issue earlier than. the publication of the brand new directives.
Affordable lodging for non secular causes.
Employers are required beneath Title VII to take affordable steps to accommodate an worker’s non secular beliefs, offered that the lodging doesn’t end in undue hardship on the employer. The brand new pointers say that affordable lodging can embody versatile hours, altering sure office insurance policies or procedures, or lateral shift modifications.
To find out affordable lodging, the rules present an undue hardship evaluation. The revised handbook notes that courts have discovered undue hardship “the place lodging lower effectivity in different jobs, infringe on the employment rights or advantages of different workers, endanger office security or encourage colleagues to tackle the a part of the doubtless harmful or arduous work of the accommodated worker. “Undue hardship as outlined by the Supreme Courtroom of america as an lodging which imposes” greater than a de minimis price ”to the employer.
The revised handbook states that when assessing hardship, elements to think about embody the “identifiable price relative to the scale and operating prices of the employer and the quantity of people that will really want the assistance. particular lodging ”.
When deciding whether or not an lodging is affordable, the EEOC encourages employers to debate the matter with the worker with a purpose to take into account different lodging that will enable them to stick to their non secular beliefs with out inflicting undue hardship to the worker. firm of the employer.