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Religious Accommodation Policy

Memorandum #356 Religious Accommodation Policy

 Date of Issue: October 1999 
Date last Revised: August 16, 2007 
Revised: November 6, 2015

Purpose

To prevent discrimination and ensure compliance on the basis of religion and provide guidance regarding the procedure by which religious accommodations will be provided to the College’s employees, applicants for employment, and students in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance.

Accountability

Under the direction of the President, the Director of Diversity and Equity shall ensure compliance with this policy.  The Director of Diversity and Equity in conjunction with the Vice Presidents, Deans, and all other supervisory staff, shall implement this policy.

Policy

The Community College of Philadelphia prohibits discrimination based upon religion.  The College will provide reasonable religious accommodations when necessary for individuals to participate in employment and educational opportunities, as well as other college programs and activities, unless the accommodation poses an undue hardship on the College or requires the College to fundamentally alter the nature of a College course, program, or activity.

Procedures

Process for Employee Accommodation

An employee who requires a reasonable religious accommodation should make the request directly to his/her supervisor. If the supervisor determines that the request may pose an undue hardship for the department and/or interfere with the employee’s essential job functions, or if the supervisor otherwise has concerns about the accommodation request, the supervisor should contact the Director of Diversity and Equity. If there are concerns about the requested accommodation, the supervisor and/or the Director of Diversity and Equity may initiate discussions with the employee to determine whether an alternative accommodation would suffice. A supervisor may not unilaterally deny a request for a reasonable religious accommodation without first consulting the Director of Diversity and Equity.

Process for Applicant Accommodation

An applicant who requires a reasonable religious accommodation should make the request directly to the Human Resources Department.

If Human Resources determines that the request may pose an undue hardship on the College, Human Resources should contact the Director of Diversity and Equity. If there are concerns about the requested accommodation, the supervisor and/or the Director of Diversity and Equity may initiate discussions with the employee to determine whether an alternative accommodation would suffice. Human Resources may not unilaterally deny a request for a reasonable religious accommodation without first consulting the Director of Diversity and Equity.

Process for Student Accommodation

A student who requires a reasonable religious accommodation should make the request directly to his/her course instructor. It is expected that the student will provide sufficient notice of the need for an accommodation to course instructors in order for the accommodation to be implemented. In the event that a student’s request for religious accommodation involves an alternative examination time or date, any make-up examinations given for purposes of test security must be comparable, in terms of format and difficulty, to the examinations given to the entire class. If there are concerns about the requested accommodation, the instructor should consult his/her department chair, dean or the Director of Diversity and Equity. An instructor may not unilaterally deny a request for a reasonable religious accommodation without first consulting the Director of Diversity and Equity. All religious accommodations for other College programs and activities outside of the classroom must be submitted to the Director of Diversity and Equity.

Complaints

Individuals who believe that there is a violation of this policy, disagree with a determination regarding a request for a reasonable religious accommodation, believe they have been treated in a discriminatory manner, or are experiencing harassment should contact the Director of Diversity and Equity. Complaints will be investigated in accordance with the procedure contained in the Colleges’ Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Compliant Policy. An individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation will be protected against retaliation. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible.

Appeal

An employee who disagrees with the Director of Diversity and Equity’s determination may appeal by providing a written appeal to the college President. The President or his designee will make a decision regarding the appeal within 14 business days and render a written decision to the employee, the employee’s supervisor, and to the Director of Diversity and Equity concerning the accommodation request. The decision of the President or his/her designee is final.