The third accommodation suggested by the EEOC is that an employer consider whether it is possible to change the job assignment or give the employee a lateral transfer when an employee cannot be accommodated either as to his or her entire job or an assignment within the job. In this regard, the employer should make sure that the offered accommodation will, in fact, eliminate the conflict between the employee's practices and work. Naturally, an employer must be cautious in this regard, especially if the proposed transfer is to a less desirable or lower paying job - or it could result in a suit for religious discrimination practices. It is recommended that the employer seek assistance of counsel if the employer plans to propose such a transfer under this third alternative.
It is a defense to a charge of failure to accommodate religious practices if an employer can show that the proposed accommodation would impose an undue hardship upon the employer. An example of what might constitute an undue hardship from a cost standpoint includes having to hire an extra employee to act as a floater.
While not as stringent as the Americans With Disabilities Act, the religious discrimination laws require that an employer undertake an accommodation analysis to consider an employee's religious practices and beliefs and refrain from taking any discriminatory actions against the employee who makes such requests.