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Accommodation of Religious Practices
 
Under the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act (ORS 659A.033), an employee may request time off from work to participate in religious holidays or holy days using appropriate paid leave (vacation leave, personal business leave or compensatory time). The agency must evaluate the request based on business need and adequate coverage and the employee’s availability of leave. 
 
An agency is required to allow an employee to use vacation leave or other appropriate paid leave available for the purpose of allowing an employee to engage in the religious observance or practices.  If the accommodation creates an undue hardship on the operation of the agency up to creating significant difficulty or expense to the agency.
 
The agency violates ORS 659A.030 if the agency imposes an occupational requirement that restricts the ability of an employee to wear religious clothing, or to take time off for a holy day or participate in a religious observance or practice when the employee has appropriate paid leave available.
 
Relevant Oregon laws and rules
 
  • ORS 659A.030 Law prohibiting discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age
  • ORS 659A.033 Law describing violation of ORS 659A.030 by denying religious leave or prohibiting certain religious observances or practices; determination of reasonable accommodation
  • OAR 839-005-0140 Rule on accommodation of religious practices
 
Bureau of Labor and Industries provide technical assistance on this issue in the form of questions and answers.
 
You may also contact the Bureau of Labor and Industries, Technical Assistance for Employers at 971-673-0824 or the Department of Justice General Council at 503-947-4600.