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