Agudath Israel of America is proud to announce the release of an updated version of its “Guide to Religious Rights in the Workplace,” edited by Agudath Israel’s General Counsel Rabbi Mordechai Biser, which provides answers to common questions and difficulties encountered by employees trying to accommodate their religious observance.
Throughout the year, the organization receives calls from individuals who wish to practice their religion but face challenges from their employers or who are looking for a job that will accommodate their observance. The guide is especially essential at this time, in the months of September and October, with so many Jewish holidays coming close together and causing these issues to surface, which makes this new edition even more important.
In addition to the Guide, Agudath Israel’s Legal Services Department has a new website, www.legalsupportservicesllc.org, which contains additional information for those facing the problem of religious accommodation.
According to Rabbi Biser, Agudath Israel has a long history of advocating for the rights of observant employees.
“We helped draft and successfully advocate for passage of laws in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere that require employers to accommodate employees who need to take time off for religious reasons. As a matter of fact, New York State now has the toughest law in the country on this point.”
According to the law, employers must offer employees a reasonable method of fulfilling their duties that is not in conflict with their religious principles. While the law states that employers are not required to incur undue hardship for the sake of such accommodation, the burden of proving hardship is on the employer.
The guide (available here) includes a special question and answer section providing legal advice to common questions concerning religious employee rights and obligations.