Updated: Jan 7, 2022
When it comes to Religious Accommodations, Employers often overreach and make it seem like employees have no say in how a request can be submitted. Likely, that is not the case. This post briefly covers things an Employer cannot do.
Hello. My name is Joseph Radzwion IV, YOUR Trusted Attorney with Radzwion Law, PLLC. And today we are covering things an Employer CANNOT do. That's right we encounter employers all the time that try and place rules, restrictions and conditions on how their employee's submit a request for a religious accommodation.
In order to get a religious accommodation, an employee must put their employer "on notice." In other words, the employee must notify the employer they would like a religious accommodation. Under Michigan law an employer is deemed to have been put on notice when an employee makes a verbal or written request for an exemption. “A notification method may be reasonable and constitutional if employing the method is ‘reasonably certain to inform those affected’ Sidun v. Wayne County Treasurer, 481 Mich. 503, 510 (2008). The employee is only required to ensure the method used to provide notice is reasonably certain to inform the employer.
Things Employers Cannot lawfully do:
An employer cannot lawfully impose conditions on the way in which an employee submits their request for a religious exemption. In other words, the employer cannot make hoops for the employee to jump through in order for the employee to submit notice to the employer. Examples of conditions may be, employer drafted forms, online portals, agreeing to voluntary termination, unpaid leave, reduced pay or benefits.
An employee cannot be required to agree to terms that violate their privacy rights in order to assert their legal rights under Title VII. The employer cannot require an employee to give up their private medical information, in order for the employee to assert their rights under Title VII. Examples of terms, an employee must sign a patient release form for their medical records in order to submit the religious accommodation request or a term that requires the employee to agree to voluntary resignation in order for their request to be submitted.
In summary, an employer cannot condition the acceptance of such notice. Under the law, both due process and the equal protection of law are violated when arbitrary barriers are used to prevent employees from asserting their constitutional rights and rights afforded to them under the law. An employer cannot, at their leisure, create barriers or impose conditions in order for an employee to assert their rights under the law. Employees are not required to agree to terms and conditions before asserting their rights. Such conditions violate due process and equal protection under the law.
YOUR Trusted Attorney:
If you would like to retain Radzwion Law, PLLC as YOUR Trusted Attorney, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to protect you when you need it most and we will fight for your freedom.
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(REMEMBER: this article should not be taken as legal advice and you should always consult with a Trusted Attorney.)