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Elaine R Turner Elaine R Turner

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OKC Labor & Employment Attorney Elaine Turner for SHRM - Religious Accommodation Requests May Result in Some Conflicts


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"Employers should revise policies that were drafted under the now-defunct de-minimis standard or risk costly litigation" said  Elaine R. Turner, an attorney with Hall Estill in Oklahoma City

However, a requested accommodation still might result in an undue hardship and be denied, Turner explained. For example, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require the use of respirators. Suppose an employer has a no-beard policy due to a job requirement to wear a respirator and a worker asks for an exception to the policy due to religious beliefs. "If the accommodation of wearing a beard jeopardizes the safety of the employee or causes the employer to violate OSHA regulations, it is an undue hardship on the employer and the accommodation can be denied," Turner said.

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Founded in 1966 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Hall Estill is a full-service law firm with clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to traditional family businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurial start-ups and individuals. More than 150 legal professionals work in the firm at offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Denver and Northwest Arkansas, assisting a diversified base of local, regional, national and international clients.

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