UMKC does not discriminate on the basis of religion, require or prohibit any religious association as a condition of employment or participation in our educational programs or activities, or permit religious harassment. All students, staff, faculty, administrators, visitors, and volunteers are expected to engage with others respectfully, regardless of their religious beliefs or absence of such beliefs. Further, UMKC does not restrict or control the free exercise of beliefs, thought, or ideas related to religion or the absence of religion.
UMKC provides reasonable accommodations to students and employees related to religious observances and practices based on an individual’s sincerely held religious beliefs, or the absence of such beliefs, as long as the accommodation does not present an undue hardship to the University. For purposes of religious accommodations, an employee is any student worker, graduate assistant, or part-time or full-time temporary or regular employees.
How is “religion” defined by the University for the purpose of reviewing accommodation requests?
Religion is defined very broadly and includes traditional, organized religions, as well as religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, or only held by a small number of people. Some practices are religious for one person, but not religious for another person.
What is an “undue hardship” and how may it alter or affect an accommodation plan?
Undue hardship means that an accommodation would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the essential nature of the course or the operations of the workplace. Among the factors considered in determining whether an accommodation is an undue hardship are the cost of the accommodation, the University’s financial resources, and the nature of the course or the structure of the operations of the department/unit and the University itself. If the University believes a specific accommodation would cause undue hardship, we will attempt to find a reasonable alternative.
What may be considered a reasonable accommodation by the University?
UMKC may consider a number of possibilities in making accommodations, taking into consideration the preferences of the student or employee and the essential structure of the course or the needs of the department and University.
Possible accommodations may include:
- An exception to dress and grooming requirements
- A schedule modification, including flexible arrival or departure times
- A work reassignment or position change
- An on-campus housing adjustment
- Alternative menu options/modifications for dietary requirements of residential students
- Excused absences from work or classes
- Allocation of private space for the purposes of observance or practice of religious beliefs
A reasonable academic accommodation does not include substantial modifications to academic standards; modification or adjustment of requirements essential to any program of instruction, program or activity, or essential to any directly related licensing requirement; or modifications or adjustments that result in undue hardship.
I’d like to learn more; what resources are available?
If you have questions about your personal situation, please complete the form available by visiting Religious Accommodations (link).
For more on religious accommodations:
- What You Should Know: Workplace Religious Accommodation (link)
- Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities (link)
- Support for Muslim College Students (link)
- School and Workplace Accommodations for the Jewish High Holidays: Know Your Rights & Obligations (link)
- Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus (link)
- Religious Accommodation for Students (link)
- Legal Guidance on Students’ Rights: Discrimination and Harassment Based on Race, Religion, National Origin, and Immigration Status (link) – although geared toward pre-college students, all public educational institutions, including UMKC, have a responsibility to prevent discrimination and harassment on the basis of religion, including protecting the rights of students related to their religious practices.
*Please note, UMKC does not endorse any specific organization, service, or author and provides this list for informational purposes only.