Wiccans, pagans now outnumber Presbyterians, study says

Employers, are you ready to accommodate Wiccans?

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, there are now 1.4 million mainstream Presbyterians in the United States but 1.5 million who identify as Wiccans or pagans.

You know what that means. Employers may soon be faced with religious accommodation requests from Wiccans. Are you ready?

Just a reminder that when an employee requests a religious accommodation, the employer is generally not entitled to question the theological validity of the employee's beliefs. (As in, "That's ridiculous! The Bible says it's a sin to cast spells and worship nature!") As long as the beliefs are of a "religious" or "theological" type, and are sincerely held by the employee, the employer is required to consider accommodations as needed, provided that the accommodations would not be an undue hardship for the employer.

A wicked witch, but not a Wiccan.

Although Wiccans are often referred to as "witches," they are not Satanists. According to the website Wicca.org, Wiccans believe in a "composite system of spiritual and magical beliefs" based on traditional writings and native pagan cultures, as well as modern interpretations.

Image Credit: Image of Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz (1939) from flickr, Creative Commons license, by Ninian Reid.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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