How to Handle Religious Holiday Requests


All employers


March 1, 2015


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

With spring comes many religious holiday observances likely to affect your business. How would you handle an employee’s request to have Good Friday or Passover off?

While there are no state or federal law requirements mandating that time off for religious observances be paid, requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 201, et seq.) must be followed.

In order to reasonably accommodate the religious needs of employees when the holidays are NOT scheduled paid holidays, several options are available:

  1. Employees may use accrued paid time off or vacation time for their absences due to religious holidays.
  2. Employees may request to observe such religious holidays without pay.

As a guideline, employees are generally required to fulfill the following conditions:

Employees must give reasonable advance notice to their supervisor in order for another employee to be assigned, if required, to the work being performed by the employee requesting the time off. Reasonable notice is considered to be a minimum of 14 consecutive calendar days.

Each regularly scheduled workday requested as a religious observance holiday requires individual review and prior approval.

Action Items:

  1. Refer to your Employee Handbook for religious holiday guidelines.
  2. Remind your employees that the two-week advance notice applies to religious holidays.
  3. For further guidance, subscribers should call the HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2015 ManagEase. Inc.

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