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Equal Rights Division Newsletter - April 5, 2021

Religion Is there room for religion in the workplace?

Wisconsin Fair Employment Law prohibits workplace discrimination based on your religious beliefs or creed. However, some forms of discrimination are not as obvious as others.

The Problem

You finally found a job that doesn't require you to work weekends which is great because you regularly attend worship on Saturdays. Without warning, your employer schedules you to work a weekend shift that interrupts your regular worship service. When you explain the situation to your employer, they offer to swap your shift with a coworker, and you agree. The following month, you're scheduled to work every Saturday. This time, when you talk to your employer, they tell you there's nothing they can do and that you'll have to work as scheduled or you may lose your job.

Should you contact the Equal Rights Division?

The AnswerReligion

Your employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations to you for the observance of your religious practices. If your employer refuses to offer a reasonable accommodation, you may want to contact the Equal Rights Division for further assistance. It's important to understand that your employer may not be required to offer the preferred accommodation if the adjustment imposes more than a minimal cost to their business.

Know Your Rights

Equal Rights Officers are available to answer your employment discrimination questions. We take calls Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:45 AM and 4:30 PM. Madison: (608) 266-6860; Milwaukee: (414) 227-4384.

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