With all the focus on the Christmas season, employers need to consider the needs of employees who are not members of the Christian faith. This is not a matter of being "politically correct." It's recognizing the reality of today's workplaces.
With an increasing percentage of employees following a religion other than the Christian faith, organizations need to determine how they will respond to requests for time off to mark holy days that do not fall on a statutory holiday.
The Human Rights Code requires employers to accommodate these requests (to the point of undue hardship), however it currently does not require that time off be paid.
Some options available to employers include:
Regardless of the choice your company makes, it is critically important to determine your policy in advance of a request and apply it consistently across the organization.
Don't leave this important issue to be decided by each supervisor, your company will be opening itself up to unwanted complaint of discrimination. Imagine the ramifications of one supervisor allowing a member of a particular faith to have a paid day off while another denies the same request to a member of a different faith.
Have questions about employee issues in your workplace? Contact us today.
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