The following are best practices that contractors may implement as part of their efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity. While OFCCP believes the practices described below can assist with overall EEO compliance efforts, they are strictly voluntary, and contractors will not be cited for violations if they choose not to adopt them:
Review accommodations policies, procedures, practices and requests for accommodations to ensure that these policies, and their implementation, easily facilitate providing religious accommodations to employees and applicants for religious observances or practices. Implement new policies, procedures and practices as needed.
Establish a centralized accommodations system, or incorporate religious accommodations into an existing system created for handling disability accommodation requests. This will help improve and streamline the accommodation process in order to make it more efficient for employees. A centralized accommodation system also helps ensure that contractors have sufficient expertise and funds in place to ensure accommodations requests are being appropriately reviewed and accommodations appropriately provided throughout the company. This is an efficient, high-impact approach for contractors to better serve their employees.
Train all managers on the legal requirements for religious accommodations and documenting of these requests. Additionally, develop and implement training for all managers on holding interactive discussions with requesters for religious accommodations to ensure better understanding of the request and the accommodation being requested. Those responsible for responding to a request for accommodation may need training specific to their responsibilities. Informational meetings or training may be provided to employees to ensure they understand their right to request accommodation.
Create, encourage and support Employee Resource Groups and affinity groups designed to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and encourage those who have an interest in the issues being addressed to join and participate. These employee-led groups provide a supportive environment where questions regarding religious accommodation requests may be raised because members can openly share their concerns, issues, and recommend best practices for a harmonious work environment. Additionally, such groups may help educate the workforce in the diversity of values, religious observations and practices, culture and heritage, and issues of concern to employees participating in and supporting the group.
Support your religious accommodations workforce programs through the company’s various internal and external communications, such as via routine employee notices and senior management statements regarding such programs. Support from senior leadership is crucial for workforce programs to be effective.
The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.