Religious holidays - what to do, how to do it and a calendar

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Valerie Ferrier at FordHarrison
April 23rd, 2021

Major Religions - 2019 Holiday Calender

With Spring around the corner, many employers will begin to receive varying requests for religious accommodations related to the upcoming religious holidays. These requests often conflict with the employer’s work hours/days or employment duties. Employers who outright refuse an employee’s request for accommodation to celebrate these religious holidays may put the company at risk of a claim for religious discrimination.  Federal and state laws do not require that an employee be given paid time off for a religious holiday. However, federal law does require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for the religious beliefs of an employee,  if the accommodation does not create an undue burden for the employer.  Courts look at a number of factors in determining whether the requested accommodation is reasonable. Each request for religious accommodation should be reviewed individually to determine if an accommodation can be made. If the accommodation cannot be made the employer must be able to demonstrate that the religious accommodation creates an undue hardship.

Employers’ Bottom Line:  Review each request for religious accommodation individually and determine whether an accommodation can be made without undue hardship to your organization.  FordHarrison attorney Valerie Ferrier has prepared a 2019 calendar detailing various religious holidays.  For a copy of this calendar, please contact

Please note: The calendar does not, nor is it intended to, cover every holiday for every religion.  Should you need additional details about a holiday or have a question about a possible accommodation, please feel free to contact Valerie Ferrier,, who is an attorney in FordHarrison's New York, NY office.  You may also contact the attorney with whom you usually work.

This blog was written by Valerie Ferrier at FordHarrison, which authors our Hiring, Firing and Discipline for Employers and An Employer's Guide to FMLA and ADA. You can find the original blog and their Legal Alerts on their website

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