Creed and Religion

Overview

State law protects workers from workplace discrimination because of creed or religious belief. State law defines "creed" as "a system of religious beliefs, including moral or ethical beliefs about right and wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views."

Employment discrimination because of creed includes refusing to reasonably accommodate an employee's or prospective employee's religious observance or practice unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship.

The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is 300 days from the date the action was taken or the individual was made aware the action was taken.

Reasonable Accommodation and "Undue Hardship"

A reasonable accommodation is a change to the terms or conditions of employment that eliminates the conflict between employment requirements and the religious practices of the employee. Religious or creed accommodations frequently involve schedule changes to allow religious observance or changes to a workplace dress code. Employees do not lose their rights to reasonable accommodations of their religious beliefs if they temporarily tolerate a schedule or dress requirement.

"Undue hardship" under the law is any proposed accommodation that poses more than minimal costs on the employer's program, enterprise, or business. For example, while it may be required to provide time off for religious observance, an employer is not required to provide paid time off for religious observance above and beyond paid time off provided to all employees.

What actions are covered?

When an individual's creed motivates the adverse decision, it becomes unlawful discrimination. Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination in recruitment and hiring, job assignments, pay, leave or benefits, promotion, licensing or union membership, training, layoff and firing, harassment and other employment related actions.

Resources

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