Orthodox Union Commends EEOC for Protecting Religious Garb and Grooming Practices in the Workplace

Posted on March 6, 2014 In Press Releases

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations (Orthodox Union), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, commends the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for its recent publication regarding religious garb and grooming in the workplace.

Today, the EEOC released a guide to clarify the workplace rights and responsibilities with respect to religious dress and grooming practices under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the guidelines, the EEOC clarifies that employers covered by Title VII must “make exceptions to their usual rules or preferences to permit applicants and employees to follow religiously-mandated dress and grooming practices.” In addition to prohibiting the termination of an employee requesting an accommodation, the guidelines also protect individuals of faith against being back-roomed due to their religious garb and from any direct or indirect employer retaliation as a result of an accommodation request.

Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy for the Orthodox Union said, “Religious accommodation in the workplace is an issue is of vital importance to the observant Jewish community and indeed all people of faith in this country. The Orthodox Union commends the EEOC for making these detailed clarifications in support of the freedom of religious exercise.

The full text of the EEOC guidelines, “Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities,” is available here.