Accordingly the employer refuses, but the employee still left his work station to attend prayers.Can the employee be disciplined for insubordination or being AWOL?male Muslims attending Friday prayers, or (true) Rastafarians not being permitted to cut their dreadlocks.
Barney Jordaan of Maserumule Consulting for is an on-line labour relations service aimed at assisting employers with the implementation of effective labour relations.
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Or assume that a Muslim employee asks for time off on a Friday afternoon to attend prayers at the local mosque.
This happens to be the busiest time in the employer's shop and letting the employee go would result in a loss of revenue.
It is also provided for in Chapter II of the Employment Equity Act, which prohibits unfair discrimination in any employment policy or practice, as well as s 187 of the Labour Relations Act, which prohibits the dismissal of employees on the basis of their religious beliefs.
However, they have also indicated that the right to practice one's religion, like all other fundamental rights, is not absolute.
A Rastafarian arrives for a job interview at a bank.
He is an excellent candidate but makes it clear, when asked whether he would be prepared to cut his dreadlocks to comply with the bank's policy on employees' dress and appearance; that he won't as it would offend his religious and cultural beliefs. Does the employee have an unfair discrimination claim against the bank?
What guiding principles have the courts have provided?
An employer asks an employee to work on a Sunday as required by the employee's contract of employment, but is informed that the employee is a committed Christian whose beliefs require him to attend church and to observe the day as a day of rest. May the employer take disciplinary action against this employee for insubordination (refusal to obey a lawful instruction)?
This for example, might include attempts to accommodate the employee whose belief prohibits Sunday work on a shift that does not include Sundays.