Civil Rights Group Releases Ramadan Guidance for Religious Accommodations in the Workplace

Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates released “Religious Rights in the Workplace,” a know your rights pamphlet for American Muslims during Ramadan.  

“Civil rights laws provide a number of protections to ensure that no one suffers discrimination because of their religious beliefs,” according to Nimra Azmi, staff attorney for Muslim Advocates. “During the holy month of Ramadan, it is imperative for American Muslims to know their rights. In many situations, employers may be required to provide schedule adjustments or other accommodations, so workers can practice their religion freely.”

The fact sheet divides the law into five key categories:

  • Which laws protect me from workplace discrimination and harassment?
  • What is a reasonable accommodation?
  • What is an undue hardship?
  • What is unlawful religious harassment?
  • What is retaliation?

The fact sheet concludes with a basic course of action that all American Muslims should be aware of:

  • Know your rights.  In many situations, employers are required to make sure that an employee does not suffer discrimination or harassment in the workplace and that they are provided with reasonable accommodations.  An employee has the right to work in an environment that is fully compliant with the law, and employers are prohibited from acting against them because they assert their rights.
  • If necessary, request a religious accommodation.  Employers must provide reasonable accommodations, unless doing so would cause an undue burden.  An employee should speak with their employer if they believe they need a modification to their work conditions to practice their faith.
  • Consult a lawyer.  If an employee believes their rights may have been violated, a lawyer can provide additional information and advice, and recommend steps to rectify the situation.
  • File a Charge of Discrimination.   The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is a federal agency that investigates claims of workplace discrimination.  If an employee believes their rights have been violated, they can file a complaint with the EEOC. Many states and municipalities have similar agencies where they can also file such complaints. Be advised that there are strict time limits for filing such complaints.   

The pamphlet encourages anyone who has experienced discrimination in the workplace to contact Muslim Advocates.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.