Ramadan: Muslim month of fasting begins

CA0salatBy David Olson, The Press-Enterprise

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins today for U.S. Muslims, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations is reminding Muslims of the rights they have as employees to observe religious rituals.

Employers are required under federal law to allow employees to take time off for religious observances unless it causes "undue hardship" to employers, said Fatima Dadabhoy, a civil rights attorney with the Greater Los Angeles chapter of CAIR, which includes the Inland area.

Here's a link to the relevant part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says employers must try to make reasonable accommodations to employees' religious beliefs and practices.

Dadabhoy advises employees to follow employers' policies for taking time off and to make clear that the request is for religious reasons.

"Most employers will work with you to accommodate your requests for prayer and iftar breaks and time off on Eid," she said.

CAIR has in the past intervened -- and in some cases sued -- to protect Muslim employees' religious rights. (Read the full article)