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Creed or Religion

Creed or religion refers to a shared belief system or faith. This ground may not cover personal, moral, ethical or political views.

Consider these scenarios:

Scenario 1: Ravinder practices the Sikh religion and wears a turban. He recently applied for a position at a local fast food restaurant where employees wear sun visors as part of the uniform. Ravinder was told on his first day that he would have to remove his turban in order to wear the sun visor.

Scenario 2: Haleema is Muslim and requests a day off from work to celebrate an important Islamic holiday. Her employer refuses the request, telling her that if they give her the day off, then they will have to start giving everyone the day off. Heleema is the only Muslim person at her workplace.

Ravinder and Haleema could be experiencing discrimination in the area of employment on the basis of their creed or religion. Employers have the duty to accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees to the point of undue hardship.

Exceptions:

Employment and Volunteering
The provisions of the Act that prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of creed or religion do not always apply to religious non-profit organizations that are operated primarily to foster the welfare of a particular religious group. However, the organization must establish that being of a certain creed or religion is required for the job. For example, a non-profit organization that provides services to members of a certain faith may be permitted to hire only employees of that faith. Religious non-profit organizations may also require volunteers to be of a certain religion.

Special Programs
The Commission may approve programs of government, private organizations or individuals designed to promote the welfare of members of a particular religion, such as scholarship programs. Request to approve programs must be made in writing to the Commission.

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