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Accommodation of Religious Observances

At Ryerson, we're committed to creating spaces where people can bring their whole selves to work. This means providing employees with equal treatment to accommodate religious observances as needed.

Religious observance accommodations are considered based on current legislation, collective agreements and university policy. Leaders will make every reasonable effort to accommodate an employee, unless doing so would create an undue hardship.

What is religious accommodation?

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, people are entitled to be free from discrimination and harassment on a number of prohibited grounds, including religion. This right also incorporates the entitlement to have one's religious practices accommodated by employers, as long as it doesn’t cause undue hardship.

Requests for accommodation can come in many forms, such as requesting days to be away from the office, quiet spaces for prayer or a temporary change in work schedule.

What if time off is required as part of the request?

Where time off is required, the employee may:

  • use their vacation days or banked CTO time;
  • adjust shift schedules where possible;
  • make up the missed time where possible;
  • choose to take the absence as unpaid; or
  • use a personal day (for OPSEU employees only).

What if the request impacts teaching responsibilities?

If a request for religious accommodation impacts a faculty member or instructor’s teaching responsibilities, they may choose to reschedule class, have class covered by an academic assistant or faculty member or post for a part-time instructor.

Each of these options are subject to advance approval by the director or chair of the department and should be made in writing as part of the accommodation request.

How do I request an accommodation?

An employee who requires an accommodation for religious observances must make their request in writing to their leader with as much notice as possible. This will allow managers the necessary time to assess the request and make any necessary arrangements.

For more information

For more detailed information regarding the Ryerson’s religious observances policy and procedures, please refer to:

You can also contact your HR consultant.

For information about student accommodation for religious and cultural observances, or a list of upcoming religious dates, visit the Human Rights Services Religious and Cultural Observances website.