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WPI 330.40 Employment Discrimination—Discrimination Based on Religion or Creed—Failure to Accom...

6A WAPRAC WPI 330.40Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6A Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 330.40 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XVI. Employment
Chapter 330. Employment Discrimination
WPI 330.40 Employment Discrimination—Discrimination Based on Religion or Creed—Failure to Accommodate—Definition
An employer has a duty to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee if that employee has a need for such an accommodation based upon a bona fide religious belief, creed, practice or observance, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
There may be more than one reasonable accommodation for a religious belief, creed, practice or observance. The accommodation need not be the precise accommodation the employee requests, as long as the accommodation provided is effective.
Use this instruction with WPI 330.41 (Employment Discrimination—Discrimination Based on Religion and Creed—Reasonable Accommodation—Burden of Proof) and, when appropriate, WPI 330.42 (Employment Discrimination—Discrimination Based on Religion and Creed—Failure to Accommodate—Defense of Undue Hardship—Burden of Proof).
RCW Chapter 49.60.
This instruction was modified for this edition to include the term “creed,” which is used in the statute. This instruction is based on Kumar v. Gate Gourmet, Inc., 180 Wn.2d 481, 325 P.3d 193 (2014), in which the Washington Supreme Court expressly recognized a cause of action for failing to accommodate an employee's religious practices. The Washington Supreme Court also recognized both a disparate treatment and disparate impact cause of action. Kumar, 180 Wn.2d at 498–99. According to the Kumar court, the term “creed” in the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) refers to religious belief. Kumar, 180 Wn.2d at 489.
The second paragraph of the instruction states Washington law with respect to accommodations of disabilities, which the Kumar court cited with approval regarding religious accommodation. Kumar, 180 Wn.2d at 501–03.
In contrast to the instruction on disability discrimination and accommodation, this instruction does not list possible forms of reasonable accommodation. Kumar is the only Washington case to provide guidance. However, in interpreting the Washington Law Against Discrimination, the Kumar court looked at cases applying Title VII's prohibition against religious discrimination.
The EEOC guidance on religious discrimination, 29 CFR § 1605.2, lists specific examples of possible accommodations, including adjustments to work schedules, flexible scheduling of arrival and departure times, breaks and lunch time, voluntary substitutes and “swaps,” and lateral transfers. Other potential forms of accommodation identified by the Commission include exceptions to dress and grooming rules, use of the work facility for a religious observance, and accommodating prayer, proselytizing, and other forms of religious expression.
[Current as of October 2020.]
End of Document