In-Depth Analysis

Resource Update: Major Religions - 2018 Holiday Calendar

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Executive Summary:  As Ash Wednesday has now passed, many employers will receive varying requests for religious accommodations related to the upcoming religious holidays. These requests often conflict with the employer’s work hours/days or employment duties. Employers who outright refuse an employee’s request for accommodation to celebrate these religious holidays may put the company at risk of a claim for religious discrimination.  Federal and state laws do not require that an employee be given paid time off for a religious holiday. However, federal law does require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for the religious beliefs of an employee,  if the accommodation does not create an undue burden for the employer.  Courts look at a number of factors in determining whether the requested accommodation is reasonable. Each request for religious accommodation should be reviewed individually to determine if an accommodation can be made. If the accommodation cannot be made the employer must be able to demonstrate that the religious accommodation creates an undue hardship.

Employers’ Bottom Line:  Review each request for religious accommodation individually and determine whether an accommodation can be made without undue hardship to your organization.  FordHarrison attorney Robbin Hutton has prepared a 2018 calendar detailing various religious holidays.  For a copy of this calendar, please contact

Please note: The calendar does not, nor is it intended to, cover every holiday for every religion.  Should you need additional details about a holiday or have a question about a possible accommodation, please feel free to contact Robbin Hutton,, who is a partner in FordHarrison's Memphis, Tennessee office.  You may also contact the attorney with whom you usually work.