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Jason works for a car rental agency. Part of his religious observance is to pray several times per day. He approaches Supervisor Jan with a request for two additional 10-minute breaks per day in order to engage in prayer.

Instructions: Please write in essay format. Include the guidance below in your analysis:a) Set forth the federal statute and/or theories of law that are applicable.b) Identify the legal issue(s) that exist.c) Apply the facts of the case to the elements of the law/theories of law.d) Cite a case in the text which is on point with the scenario, or compare and contrast with a case in the tex

students response

The federal statute that is applicable to Jason’s scenario is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The federal statute states: “The term ‘religion’ includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief” (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2019, p 543). Although religion is considered a protected class under Title VII, there are specific guidelines. “Unlike the other categories included in Title VII, there is not an absolute prohibition against discrimination on the basis of religion. Rather, under Title VII, we see for the first time a category that has built into it a duty to reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious conflict unless to do so would cause the employer undue hardship.” (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2019, p 540).

Under Title VII Jason has the right to to request reasonable accommodations for two additional 10-minute breaks regarding his religious belief of prayer. “The U.S. Supreme Court has held that, in attempting to accommodate the employee, all that is required is that the employer attempts to make a reasonable accommodation” (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2019, p 549). Some examples of reasonable accommodations would be “Modifications to workplace practices, policies or procedures, such as flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions, swaps, job reassignments and lateral transfers” (SHRM, 2015).

If the car agency does not apply their duty to reasonably accommodate for the two additional breaks, Jason would have a basis to file a Failure to Accommodate claim. A similar case “Tyson v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc., the employer was faced with what to do with a Muslim employee working in the hospital who used an empty hospital room to perform her ablutions (ritual washing up) before praying, in violation of hospital rules”(Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2019, p 542). This case is similar that both needed reasonable accomodations . Fatou Tysons case [“Tyson v. Clarian Health Partners, Inc.] did have the following claims against the employer: 1) Failure to Accommodate, 2) Discharge Based on Religion and 3) Harassment. The court held that the employer failed to reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious conflict as to the ablutions, but not the prayer. Clarian provided Tyson with multiple spaces she could pray during working hours. “The undisputed evidence shows that Clarian offered and Tyson accepted a reasonable accommodation that enabled her to pursue her practice of prayer throughout the course of her employment”(CaseText, 2014).

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that, in attempting to accommodate the employee, all that is required is that the employer attempt to make a reasonable accommodation (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2019, p549). Therefore, Jan [Jasons supervisor] should accommodate Jasons request for two additional 10 minute breaks. As the case of Tyson V. Clarian Health Partners, Inc, these additional breaks are Jasons Title VII rights under religious belief in prayer. In addition, the breaks are a “reasonable” request and does not appear to cause “undue hardship” for the employer.

References

Bennett-Alexander, D., & Hartman, L. P. (2019). Employment law for business. McGraw-Hill Education.

Case Text (2014) Tyson v. Methodist Health Group. CaseText. https://casetext.com/case/tyson-v-methodist-health-group

Society for Human Resource Management (2015) Accommodating Religion, Belief and Spirituality in the Workplace. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools

/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/accommodating-religion,-belief-and-spirituality-in-the-workplace.aspx

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