Religious Accommodations

The UCI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) is responsible for the University's compliance with federal and state laws and University policies and procedures regarding discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. OEOD is also here to help the UCI community (both the campus and UCI Health including the medical center) with questions, concerns, and complaints related to the protected basis of religion, including religious accommodations.

If a member of the University community has a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance that conflicts with their obligation to the University (e.g., attending a class session, working on a particular day), the University will engage with that person in a good faith attempt to accommodate the identified need. Below is an example for UCI departments, units, academic programs, and supervisors for how to engage in the interactive process when employees and students make requests for accommodations based on religion.

Whether you are the person requesting a religious accommodation (Requester) or the person receiving such a request (Recipient), you should follow these basic steps:

Step One: 

    • Requester: Identify (a) your sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance and (b) how it conflicts with your University obligation to the relevant University person.
    • Recipient: Listen for and be open to receiving such request.

Step Two:

    • Either requester or recipient: Suggest potential accommodation(s) that might resolve the conflict.

Step Three:

    • Both requester and recipient: Discuss the feasibility, appropriateness, and effectiveness of the suggested accommodation(s); consider and discuss other accommodations.  This should be an iterative process (not just a one-and-done demand and answer).
    • Tip: The goal is to find an accommodation that resolves the requester’s conflict and that does not impose an undue burden on the University (if this is an employment context) or fundamentally change the program (if this is an academic or student programming context).

Step Four:

    • Both requester and recipient: Continue suggesting and discussing potential accommodations.
    • Tip: If you cannot come to an agreement about an appropriate accommodation, contact OEOD for assistance.

Additional Resources on Religious Accommodations

Student Religious Accommodation and Religious Observation:

Division of Continuing Education (DCE) Student Religious Accommodation and Religious Observation: 

Addressing Religious Holiday Conflicts with Residence Hall Move-in Days in On-Campus Housing (UC-SA-12-0063): 

Employee Religious Accommodation and Religious Observation (PPSM 2.210, Section III-H.2):