What's more, religion is not simply a matter of belief.
The faithful practice their religion through various actions -- styles of dress, manner of keeping or wearing one's hair, trying to recruit others to their faith, following certain diets, praying, fasting, avoiding certain language or behavior, and observing certain religious holidays.
Sometimes, an employee’s religious beliefs or practices can be in conflict with job requirements.
However, cultural or political accommodation requests can have religious elements and should be carefully analyzed by employers. To be entitled to a religious accommodation, an applicant or employee must inform the employer of the need for the accommodation.
Yet, in the real world, a number of issues can arise to create friction.
An employer and employee may discuss, or even argue over, religious principles.
Sikiru Adeyeye requested approximately four weeks of leave from work to participate in his father’s funeral ceremony in Nigeria. A federal district court ruled that Adeyeye did not make clear that he was seeking a religious accommodation—making his termination proper—and dismissed the case. Accommodating religious practices and beliefs often presents difficult decisions for employers.
In his request, Adeyeye explained that he had to attend the “funeral rite” and that it was “very important for [him] to be there according to our custom and tradition.” He noted that his attendance was “compulsory so that death will not come or take away any of the children’s [of the deceased] life.” His employer denied the request and terminated his employment when Adeyeye still went to Nigeria. This article briefly outlines federal law on religious accommodation.