Workplace Accommodations for Religious Beliefs and Practices

Overview of Religious Accommodations

In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Wichita State University (WSU) prohibits discrimination or retaliation against workers with a sincerely held religious belief or practice.

For purposes of employment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sincerely held religious beliefs or practices unless the requested accommodations would pose an undue hardship to the employer.

Students who need a religious accommodation in academic programs should contact the Office of Civil Rights, Title IX and ADA Complicance at, to initiate the process. Students who need an accommodation in their employment should follow the guidance below.

Keywords defined by the EEOC

Title VII “religion belief”

Title VII defines "religion" very broadly. It includes traditional, organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. It also includes religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, or only held by a small number of people.

Social, political, or economic philosophies, or personal preferences, are not "religious" beliefs under Title VII.

Qualified Individuals

A qualified individual is someone who meets the skill, experience, and education requirement of the position held or desired and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are any modification or accommodation to a job, practice, policy, or the work environment that enables an employee to perform the essential functions of a position without creating undue hardship for the employer.

Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing a dress and grooming code for a religious practice.
  • Modifying work schedule to attend religious services.
  • Modifying duties to remove non-essential functions which conflict with religious belief.
  • Allowing unpaid break time for religious practice.
Interactive Process

The process for determining if there are reasonable accommodations that can be implemented is called the interactive process. It is an ongoing conversation between an employee and Human Resources (HR) as well as between HR and the employee’s supervisor to determine if there are reasonable accommodations that will enable the employee to complete the essential functions of their job. Documentation of the request and interactive process is required and will be documented by HR.

Confidentiality under Title VII

Accommodation requests and any supporting documentation related to the determination of the request will be kept separate from the employee’s personnel file.  Employers informed of an employee's request for accommodation are prohibited from disclosing such information to other employees and third-party individuals with the following limited exceptions:

  1. Supervisors may know about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and any accommodations.
  2. First aid and safety personnel may be informed if the limitations might require emergency treatment or specific procedures are needed in the case of fire or other evacuation.
  3. Government officials investigating compliance with religious accommodations and/or other federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs, may be provided relevant information upon request.

Complaint Procedures for Applicants and Employees

Any applicant or employee who believes they had a reasonable accommodation request denied, was discriminated or was retaliated against due to an accommodation request, is encouraged to make a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Title IX & ADA Compliance. The Notice of Non-discrimination Policy, including the complaint process, may be found online (refer to University Policy 3.02 / Notice of Nondiscrimination for more information).


Applicant for University Position Accommodation Requests

Persons requesting accommodations related to religious beliefs in the application or interview process, please notify Human Resources at (316) 978-3065 or email


Workplace Modification or Accommodation Request Process

If you are a WSU employee who needs a modification in order to meet the requirements of your job, please discuss your situation and possible solutions with your supervisor and then follow the steps below.

Steps to Request an Accommodation:

  • Employee: After discussing your situation with your supervisor, complete an Employee Request (ER) for Religious Accommodations detailing any possible modifications, and submit it to HR at Hard copies of the ER form and other accomodation process forms are available in HR upon request. If you need assistance filling out the ER form, need help with requesting an accomodation, or have any questions, you may contact HR at for assistance.
  • Human Resources: After receiving the completed ER form, HR will review the request and, if needed, utilize the interactive process. During the interactive process: 
    1. Step 1: HR will meet with the employee to identify possible accommodation options that will allow the employee to fulfill their religious accommodation.
    2. Step 2: HR will meet with the supervisor to discuss possible accommodations. Supervisors may introduce new or additional ideas or options to accommodate the employee's needs.
    3. Step 3: If the supervisor introduces a new idea or option that the employee has not considered, HR will meet to discuss the information with the employee to determine if this is a possible option.
    4. Step 4: Once an accommodation has mutually been agreed upon by the employee and supervisor, HR will document the accommodation through the interactive form and coordinate the implementation of the accommodation, if needed. 
  • Human Resources: Communicate the determination/outcome of the accommodation request (approved, temporarily approved or denied) to the employee and supervisor. The completed documentation, including the request form, any supporting information, interactive process documentation, and final determination will be stored in the confidential employee medical file, which is separate from personnel file.
  • Employee: If at any point the agreed upon accommodation is not working, have a discussion with your supervisor.   If an adjustment, update, or additional request is needed it should be discussed with your supervisor. Please also email with a request to speak with an HR representative about your accommodation needs. Any updates to accommodations will be filed in the confidential employee accommodation file. 

Resources for Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Resources

Who to Contact

HR Total Rewards Team
Human Resources Logo

Updated: 11/3/2023 SA