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Religious Accommodations

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A religious accommodation is defined as any adjustment to the work environment to allow employees to practice religious beliefs, practices, or observances. Accommodations can include modifications to work schedules, dress or grooming, or religious expressions that do not compromise any form of safety in the workplace, nor infringe on the rights of other employees or cause undue hardship to the business.

According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, “the law requires an employer or other covered entity to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer's business.”

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing an applicant or employee because of the individual’s actual or perceived religious creed. It also protects employees from any form of retaliation.

When an employee or applicant needs a religious accommodation for religious reasons, formal notification to the supervisor or the HR department might be necessary. The Director of the Diversity and Access Office has been designated by Stanford University to handle inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy. Contact information: Mariposa House, 585 Capistrano Way, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-8230; (650) 723-0755 (voice), (650) 723-1216 (TTY), (650) 723-1791 (fax), (email).

The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life encourages students to talk with their professors or advisors, alert them of any potential absence due to religious practice, and prepare any work ahead of time to make up for the absence. For additional support, students can send an email to

The Office for Religious Life makes available to faculty, staff, and students a list of significant religious observances at the beginning of each academic year and this list can be consulted.

We encourage everyone to act with reasonable common sense, judgment, empathy, and the pursuit of mutual goodwill to achieve a positive resolution of any conflicts that might arise due to the request for religious accommodations.