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Accommodation of Religious Observances Procedure


1.    An employee who requires accommodation for religious observances must make a request for that accommodation, in writing, to her/his manager.  The request should indicate the nature of the accommodation, the particular circumstances and requirements, and any suggestions or alternatives concerning how the observance can be accommodated.

2.    Where time off is required, employees should make requests for accommodation far enough in advance of the date(s) when they require the time off, so as to allow their manager sufficient time to assess the request and make an appropriate determination.  If the religious observance is a regular, recurring holiday, the employee should make the request as soon as the specific dates are known, eg. make a request for time off for holidays in a year at the beginning of every year.  Managers must respond to requests within a reasonable time period, based on particular circumstances.

3.    The manager will make every reasonable effort to provide accommodation as requested by the employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship.  Managers should consult with their Human Resources advisor concerning requests for accommodation of religious observances.

4.    Employees, who are not satisfied with the decision of their manager, have recourse through the dispute resolution mechanisms available to members of their employee group.

5.    In situations where time off is granted, the following options should be considered in order to meet the University‚Äôs obligation to provide reasonable accommodation:

a.    allow the employee to make up the time;

b.    adjust shift schedules;

c.    allow the employee to use vacation leave or compensating time off credits (where it exists contractually, and if the employee has sufficient credits in his/her vacation or CTO bank);

d.    provide a leave without pay.

6.    In addition, for faculty members and instructors, the following options may also be considered concerning coverage of teaching responsibilities:

a.    rescheduling/making up classes;

b.    use of academic assistants to monitor laboratories, studios, or other learning environments;

c.    class coverage by another faculty member;

d.    posting for a part-time instructor.

7.    All such arrangements are subject to approval, in advance, by the director or chair of the department.


This procedure falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The interpretation and application of this procedure is a shared responsibility of Human Resources.