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The EEOC issues vaccine-related religious exception guidance

There are no "magic words" employees have to say when requesting religious accommodation with respect to covid-19 vaccine mandates, and employers should assume that these requests are based on sincere religious beliefs, says the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in guidance issued on Monday based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

But workers "must notify the employer that there is a conflict between their sincere religious beliefs and the employer's demands for covid-19 vaccination", guidance says

And although the employer should assume that the request for religious accommodation is valid, it is "entitled to make a limited factual inquiry and seek further supporting information", and may request an explanation of how the worker's religious beliefs conflict with vaccination requirement, says the guide.

If there is a question of undue difficulty in complying with an employee's request, ket would allow com In order to deny this, the company must show how much cost or disruption the proposed accommodation would entail, according to the guidelines.

The guidance also states that if an employer grants certain employees religious accommodation, it does not necessarily have to do so. so for all employees. It depends on the "specific actual context" of the requested accommodation, it says.

More than one type of accommodation can be offered, says the guide, and it may be up to the employer to offer. Furthermore, the employer has the right to terminate a previously granted residence if it is no longer used for religious purposes or if it subsequently entails an undue difficulty, it states.

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