Religous Accommodation for US Workers

“We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)


I recently received an email promoting a seminar this week for employers by an attorney named R. Brent Barlow. The email stated:

Employers must know:

  1. Religious accommodation does not work the same as other types of workplace accommodation

  2. The employee does not have to prove “flawless adherence” to the beliefs and creeds of the particular belief system.

  3. Employees can prove personally held “religious beliefs” even if their group or sect does not adhere to them

  4. A religious belief does not have to involve God or any “higher being”

  5. The interactive process is not required as in the disability realm — but is encouraged.

  6. Religious accommodation may not be negotiable

  7. Employers are not required to violate Collective Bargaining Agreements in order to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs

  8. Concerns over employee morale or having to overtime to cover an accommodated employee’s missed work will generally NOT be sufficient to establish an “undue burden” under Title VII

  9. Documenting requests for religious accommodation are essential to a Company’s process

  10. The EEOC has created a special guide concerning accommodating Islam and other Middle Eastern faiths.

With the recent issues with members in LCG and UCG facing religious discrimination, it is important for American workers to realize that while employers must make some “reasonable” accommodations, the courts have tended to rule that not they do not have to accommodate all the Holy Days that we in LCG for example, observe.

Also, for reasons that I have never fully understood, it is often union employees who get the worst treatment, as instead of being on the side of the religious employee, it seems to me that much of the time the union is fighting against religious accommodations.

Other countries have other rules, but basically it is getting more difficult for people in the USA who have non-mainstream faiths (other than Islam) to receive protection from the courts.

The two areas that the unions tend to have the biggest problems with is the Sabbath and the Holy Days. The fact that they are in the Bible and have been observed for thousands of years seems not to make a difference with the courts or the unions.

We in the true Church, however, should follow the examples of Jesus and Apostles and observe those days, and remember that the Bible records that Peter told representatives of the legal system of his day, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.

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