Policies

Welcome to Farmingdale State College’s Policy Library. This library is the official repository for all institutional policies and procedures and is intended to be a resource for faculty, staff and students seeking information related to the policies that govern the institution. This library does not contain department-specific policies and procedures. Please contact the department for specific departmental policies and procedures.

Please direct all questions regarding policy content to the Responsible Office listed on the respective policy.

If you wish to propose or amend an institutional policy, please review the Policy for Developing Institutional Policies and complete the Policy Proposal Form.

For assistance with drafting and amending policies, please refer to the Policy Writing Guidance and/or contact the Risk and Compliance Office at 934-420-5365.

Religious Accomodations Policy

Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish campus guidelines regarding the procedure by which reasonable religious accommodations will be provided.

Persons Affected

Faculty, Staff, Students, Third-Parties

Additionally, as indicated in the Farmingdale State College’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure, this policy also applies to applicants for employment, interns, whether paid or unpaid, volunteers, contractors and persons conducting business with the College, as well as third-parties who are participating in a College sponsored program or affiliated activity.

Policy Statement

Farmingdale State College (“FSC” or the “College”) is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all, regardless of religious affiliation or belief. As part of this commitment, the College will provide a reasonable religious accommodation when necessary for individuals to participate in employment and educational opportunities, as well as other College programs and activities, unless such an accommodation creates an undue hardship for the College.

Reasonable religious accommodations will be provided on a case‐by‐case basis with consideration to the nature of the accommodation requested; the duration of the request; the timeliness of the request; any reasonable available alternative accommodations; any academic impact; and any other related factors. As outlined in the procedures section below, supervisors and instructors are responsible for reviewing and determining the reasonableness of any requested religious accommodations.

As a public employer and educational institution, FSC does not endorse any specific religious tenet or belief. Rather, the College respects that each member of its community may have their own religious beliefs, or may not ascribe to any religious tenet or belief and will not be subject to harassment on the basis of religious belief. The College adheres to the principles of free speech regarding religious expression, and will not limit religious speech or expression unless such speech or expression creates an undue hardship or is contrary to the College’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure.

Procedures

All requests for reasonable religious accommodation must be documented and include the following:

  1. A description of the accommodation being requested.
  2. The reason an accommodation is needed; and, if necessary,
  3. How the accommodation will help resolve the conflict between the individual’s religious beliefs or practices and the college’s policy, procedure, or other requirement.

Employee Accommodation

An employee who requires a reasonable religious accommodation should submit the request directly to their supervisor. Supervisors can determine if a request is reasonable and if so, grant and document the accommodation.

If the supervisor determines that the request may pose an undue hardship for the department or interfere with the employee’s essential job functions, or if the supervisor otherwise has concerns about the accommodation request, the supervisor should contact Human Resources. If there are concerns about the requested accommodation, the supervisor or Human Resources may initiate discussions with the employee to determine whether an alternative accommodation would suffice. A supervisor may not unilaterally deny a request for a reasonable religious accommodation without first consulting Human Resources.

Student Accommodation

A student who requires a reasonable religious accommodation for a specific course should submit the request directly to the instructor of record for the course. It is expected that the student will provide sufficient notice of the need for an accommodation to course instructors in order for the accommodation to be provided on a timely basis. Once a request is submitted, the instructor may initiate an interactive process with the student. Reasonable accommodation in course work may be unavailable if a request results in a significant number of absences or substantially impacts class participation. For the purposes of this policy, significant number of absences is viewed as greater than 5% of class time. In the event that a student’s request involves an alternative examination time or date, any make-up examinations given for purposes of test security must be comparable, in terms of format and difficulty, to the examinations given to the other students enrolled in the class.

If there are concerns about the requested accommodation, the instructor must consult their department chair or dean. An instructor may not unilaterally deny a request for a religious accommodation without first consulting their chair, or dean. Prior to issuing a denial of an accommodation, the Provost Office must be notified.

A student who requests a religious accommodation for any other College policy, procedure, or other requirement must request the accommodation in writing to the appropriate campus department. If the department head has concerns about the requested accommodation, he/she should reach out to their area Vice President. A department head may not unilaterally deny a request for a religious accommodation without first consulting their area Vice President.

Individuals who believe that there is a violation of this policy, who disagree with a determination regarding a request for a reasonable religious accommodation, who believe they have been treated in a discriminatory manner, or who are experiencing harassment should contact the Affirmative Action Officer. Complaints will be investigated in accordance with the procedure contained in the College’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure. An individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation will be protected against retaliation. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible.

Definitions

Essential Function: A fundamental job duty of an employment position for staff and faculty, or a fundamental academic element of a course or program of study for a student.

Reasonable Religious Accommodation: Any change in the work environment for staff and faculty, or academic course or program of study for students, or in the way tasks or responsibilities are customarily done that enables an employee or student to participate in their religious practice or belief without undue hardship in the conduct of the College’s business or operation.

Religious Practice or Belief: A sincerely held practice or observance that includes moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong, most commonly in the context of the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. Religion includes not only traditional, organized religions, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal religious institution or sect, or only subscribed to by a small number of people. Social, political, or economic philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not considered to be religious beliefs.

Undue Hardship: A significant cost or other burden that would cause a fundamental disruption to the College. The determination of undue hardship is dependent on the facts of each individual situation. An accommodation will be considered an undue hardship if it will result in the inability of the employee or student to perform an essential function of the position, course or program of study, or result in any safety hazards for students or staff.

Related Documents

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure

State Education Law S224-a

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Responsible Office

Human Resources

Policy History

Approval Date: 9/13/2022

Categories

Last Modified 11/16/22