Yes. It is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation for the religious beliefs and/or practices of employees and applicants for employment unless providing a reasonable accommodation would result in undue hardship to CBP. Undue hardship means more than de minimis cost or burden on the operation of CBP. Note that this is a lower standard to meet than undue hardship under the Rehabilitation Act, which is defined in that statute as "significant difficulty or expense."
A religious accommodation is a modification or adjustment to the application process or the work environment to allow the individual to practice his or her religious beliefs without creating an undue hardship on CBP.
Title VII defines religion very broadly for purposes of determining what the law covers. Religion includes not only traditional, organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people, or that seem illogical or unreasonable to others. An employee’s belief or practice can be "religious" even if the employee is affiliated with a religious group that does not espouse or recognize that individual’s belief or practice, or if few – or no – other people adhere to it.
Religious observances or practices include, for example, attending worship services, praying, wearing religious garb or symbols, displaying religious objects, adhering to certain dietary rules, proselytizing or other forms of religious expression, or refraining from certain activities. Whether a practice is religious depends on the employee’s motivation. The same practice might be engaged in by one person for religious reasons and by another person for purely secular reasons (e.g., dietary restrictions, tattoos, etc.).
CBP Employee: Employees seeking a religious accommodation must submit their request through their immediate supervisor. To ensure that CBP maintains accurate records regarding requests for religious accommodation, the receiving supervisor will ask the employee to complete the "CBP Religious Accommodation Request Form." The request will be assigned to an PDO staff member to facilitate the interactive process between the employee and the management official to determine the appropriate accommodation under the circumstances.
CBP Applicant: An applicant requesting religious accommodation for any stage of the application process must submit a request for religious accommodation to the Indianapolis or Minneapolis Hiring Center, as applicable. Requests for reasonable accommodation to participate in pre-employment polygraph examinations must be submitted to the Office of Internal Affairs, Credibility and Assessment Division, prior to the date of the exam.
CBP’s religious accommodation policy may be accessed at CBP Directive No. 51713-012, Reasonable Accommodation for Religious Beliefs and Practices.
Employer-employee cooperation and flexibility are key to the search for a reasonable religious accommodation. If the accommodation solution is not immediately apparent, an appropriate management official in a session facilitated by the assigned DCR staff member will discuss the request with the employee to determine what accommodations might be effective. If CBP requests additional information reasonably needed to evaluate the request, the employee should provide it. For example, if an employee has requested a schedule change to accommodate daily prayers, CBP may need to ask for information about the religious observance, such as time and duration of the daily prayers, in order to determine whether accommodation can be granted without posing an undue hardship on the operation of CBP. Moreover, even if the employer does not grant the employee’s preferred accommodation, but instead provides an alternative accommodation, the employee must cooperate by attempting to meet his or her religious needs through the proposed accommodation.
Federal law requires agencies to provide employees reasonable accommodation for employees’ religious beliefs and practices. Thus, you are entitled to a religious accommodation to attend your weekly religious service, but the accommodation you are entitled to will not necessarily be a permanent shift assignment. The accommodation will depend on the needs of the agency. If you need a change in schedule or other change to accommodate your religion, you should make a reasonable accommodation request to your immediate supervisor.