University policy and state law require that all instructors reasonably accommodate conflicts with class attendance, exam schedules, and work requirements resulting from a student’s religious beliefs, observances, and practices.
The UIC Senate Policy on religious holidays (approved May 25, 1988) is below:
"The faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago shall make every effort to avoid scheduling examinations or requiring that student projects be turned in or completed on religious holidays. Students who wish to observe their religious holidays shall notify the faculty member by the tenth day of the semester of the date when they will be absent unless the religious holiday is observed on or before the tenth day of the semester. In such cases, the students shall notify the faculty member at least five days in advance of the date when he/she will be absent. The faculty member shall make every reasonable effort to honor the request, not penalize the student for missing the class, and if an examination or project is due during the absence, give the student an exam or assignment equivalent to the one completed by those students in attendance. If the student feels aggrieved, he/she may request remedy through the campus grievance procedure."
Guidance for Instructors
- Outline course obligations, dates, and foreseen calendar of examination(s) as early as possible.
- Instruct students to inform you of any conflicts in accordance with the policy detailed below.
- There may be accommodation requests neither dictated by calendar dates nor foreseen at the beginning of the semester as contemplated by the stated Senate Policy. In such cases, students should be informed that they should request an accommodation as soon as they become aware of the need.
- Students should not be required to supply verification of their attendance at religious services in order to qualify for an accommodation.
Students may use the Student Request for Religious Accommodation Form or submit their request to the instructor in a mutually-agreed upon manner (in-person, email, BlackBoard, etc.).
Any student may appeal in writing an instructor’s adverse decision to a request based on religious beliefs, observances, and practices to the Office for Access and Equity.
To request any other non-academic related religious accommodations, contact the Office for Access and Equity at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-996-8670.
The law requires the University to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employing department. This means the University may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice his or her religion. This also applies to such things as dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons. It also includes an employee's observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments.
Examples of some common religious accommodations include:
- flexible scheduling
- voluntary shift substitutions or swaps
- job reassignments
- modifications to workplace policies or practices
- leave for religious observances
- wearing particular head coverings or other religious dress
- wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair
- UIC Academic Year Religious Calendar from UIC Office for Access and Equity
- Religious Discrimination from U.S. Department of Education
- Workplace Religious Accommodations from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Higher Education (110 ILCS 110/) University Religious Observances Act from Illinois Compiled Statutes