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(1) It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, an agent of an employer, an employment agency or a labor organization to discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of religion.

(2) The term religion includes all aspects of religious observance, practice and belief.

(3) For purposes of providing equal employment opportunities, an employer has a duty to accommodate an employee's religion unless to do so would cause a more than de minimis hardship on the conduct of the business.

(a) An employee whose religion conflicts with an employment requirement has a duty to inform the employer of the conflict in a timely manner.

(b) Once informed of a religion based conflict, an employer has a duty to initiate good faith efforts to accommodate the conflict. An employer can demonstrate that an accommodation to an employee's religious belief or practice would cause a more than de minimis hardship with proof that the accommodation would require a significant cost to the business, would violate contract obligations which cannot be reconciled, or would otherwise cause a more than de minimis hardship to the employer.

(c) The employer and the employee have a mutual obligation to engage in bilateral cooperation in a search for a reasonable resolution of conflicts which may arise between an employer's business and an employee's religion.

(4) Determining whether an accommodation can be made and whether a more than de minimis hardship would occur for purposes of the provisions of the act or code prohibiting religious discrimination in employment must be made on a case by case basis.

History: 49-2-204, 49-3-106, MCA; IMP, 49-2-303, 49-3-201, and 49-3-202, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 2871, Eff. 10/25/96.

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