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Workplace Religious Accommodations: EEOC Guidance and Court Developments

Best Practices for Hiring, Policies and Employment Decisions Amid Increased Claims and Ambiguous Standards

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance to counsel on best practices for employers to avoid claims of workplace religious discrimination. The panel will review hiring, accommodation and termination practices amid increased ambiguity in the standards and a surge in employee claims.


Religion-based complaints in the workplace continue to rise faster than other types of discrimination complaints. The complaints are wide-ranging, more recently based on religious practices unfamiliar to American employees. From the more routine requests for accommodations to not work on the Sabbath to very specific clothing or personal grooming requirements, counsel must prepare employers to respond to workers’ requests based on their religious practices.

So long as the employee articulates sincerely held religious beliefs as the basis of an accommodation to the employer, the employee is protected by Title VII. Based on EEOC guidance and case law, counsel can help employers understand the complex issues surrounding religious accommodations and assist them in complying with Title VII on reasonable accommodation, undue hardship, sincere religious belief, and notice standards.

In addition to accommodation issues, counsel to employers must reevaluate hiring, placement and termination practices within a diverse workforce that may result in a collision of varied religious traditions. (For example, you can’t place an observant Muslim wearing a head covering to “the back office” based on his or her religious garb.)

Employers must also be sensitive to any objectionable workplace conduct based on religion or national origin by coworkers and supervisors as potential harassment and a hostile work environment.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides best practices for hiring, providing reasonable accommodations, and avoiding discrimination claims. They will also provide employers’ counsel with an analysis of recent case law developments.



  1. Hiring practices
  2. Reasonable accommodations
    1. Sincere religious belief
    2. Notice of accommodation issues
    3. Undue hardship
    4. Types of accommodations
  3. Termination practices
  4. EEOC guidelines and legal theories for violations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can counsel aid employers in navigating the ambiguous religious reasonable accommodation standards, EEOC guidance and case law?
  • What are the employers’ rights and obligations during the hiring, employment decision making and firing processes?
  • What types of accommodations should employers consider based on the context of the accommodation request?


Fox, Stephen
Stephen E. Fox

Sheppard Mullin

Mr. Fox leads Sheppard Mullin’s Texas employment law practice. Consistently recognized by peers and clients as a...  |  Read More

Grisham, J. Gregory
J. Gregory Grisham


Mr. Grisham has over 25 years of successful experience counseling and representing employers in all aspects of...  |  Read More

Johnson-Massie, Dionysia
Dionysia L. Johnson-Massie

Littler Mendelson

Ms. Johnson-Massie is a litigator who focuses her practice on federal employment discrimination, harassment,...  |  Read More

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