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Encountering Religion in the WorkplaceThe Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers$
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Raymond F. Gregory

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449543

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449543.001.0001

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General Principles of Accommodation

General Principles of Accommodation

(p.183) 15 General Principles of Accommodation
Encountering Religion in the Workplace

Raymond F. Gregory

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the general principles that underlie an employer's duty to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of its employees. Title VII originally did not provide for accommodation, but in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) first promulgated guidelines, employers were required to accommodate the “reasonable religious needs” of their employees “where such accommodation can be made without serious inconvenience to the conduct of [their] business.” The EEOC later revised its guidelines to provide that accommodation is required whenever it “can be made without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.” In 1972, Congress added a provision for accommodation to Title VII itself that reflected the EEOC guidelines. This chapter considers how “reasonable accommodation” and “undue hardship” were addressed by the Supreme Court in the 1977 case of Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA) v. Hardison. It also discusses the the EEOC's revised guidelines concerning reasonable accommodation, undue hardship, and de minimis cost.

Keywords:   religious beliefs, employees, Title VII, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers, reasonable accommodation, undue hardship, Supreme Court, de minimis cost

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