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Federal Law Requires Employers to Make Reasonable Accommodations for Employees' Religious Beliefs

"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to attempt to make reasonable accommodations to sincerely held religious beliefs of employees absent undue hardship." A North Carolina employee of the supermarket chain Food Lion initially received accommodation for his religious needs. As a Jehovah's Witness, his faith requires him to attend church two times a week--on Sundays and Thursday evenings. When the employee was transferred to another Food Lion store, the manager allegedly told the employee that if he was unable to work on Sundays, he could not be employed by Food Lion. The employee was terminated.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit charging Food Lion with workplace discrimination and violation of federal law by failing to accommodate an employee's reasonable religious beliefs. The EEOC reminds employers that an employee should not be forced to choose between his job and his religion. In addition, unless a reasonable accommodation results in undue burden to the employer, the accommodation must be provided. Read more about religious discrimination in the workplace.

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* Searcy Business Litigation & Employment Law represents clients in the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia, including Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County, the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax. The firm also serves clients in the Virginia counties of Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Frederick, Madison, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren, as well as the cities of Fredericksburg and Winchester, Virginia and more.

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