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Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 31: Create and ensure a positive and constructive organizational and workplace culture that is safe and respectful of multiple diversities of their employees, including Muslim employees.

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 32: Review organizational and business policies, practices and services as well as organizational by-laws to remove any existing or potential barriers to a discrimination, harassment and bullying-free workplace for diverse employees including Muslim employees.

Recommendation 33: Make anti-Islamophobia and anti-racism education or training available to leadership, managers and employees

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 34: Implement name-blind recruiting and hiring practices at both the staff and management levels, and ensure there is no bias, prejudice or discrimination against employees from diverse backgrounds, including Muslim employees, in the entire employment process including onboarding, retention, and promotion.

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 35: Ensure there is no bias, prejudice or discrimination against employees from diverse backgrounds, including Muslim employees, in wages and compensation.

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 36: Create joint workplace committees with leadership, management and employees through bargaining agents or Muslim and/or racialized employee representatives to develop, monitor, and evaluate anti-Muslim and anti-racism initiatives.

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 37: Work with employees, through bargaining agents or Muslim and/or racialized employee representatives, ensure there are policies and procedures to address workplace harassment, violence or bullying. Reports of such incidences should be reported promptly and appropriate remedies taken.

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 38: Establish and publicly promote a commitment from leadership, at the top levels of the organization or business, against Islamophobia in the workplace and society.

Recommendations to employers

Recommendation 39: Ensure that the duty to accommodate Muslim employees’ needs concerning religious observance by addressing existing or preventable barriers, for example:

a. Prayers two of the five times a day are during a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday.

b. Washing (ablution) of face, hands, arms, and feet with clean water is required of Muslims before prayer. This can be done in the workplace washrooms, or a place with running water;

c. Friday congregational prayer is about one hour around lunchtime. An employer, in discussion with the Muslim employee, can arrange flexible work hours such as coming in earlier or leaving later on Friday;

d. Fasting during Ramadan is an important practice in Islam. Muslims abstain from food and drink including water from dawn until sunset for one month. An employer, in discussion with the Muslim employee, can arrange:
i. for flexible work hours such as shortening the workday if a lunch break is not taken by the employee; and
ii. for the employee to be exempt from work meetings and events that serve food and drinks during Ramadan.

e. Social and work events celebrating religious holidays of other faiths where alcohol is served may not be comfortable for Muslims. These employees should not be penalized for not participating in such events. Also, a Muslim employee should not be asked to serve or sell religiously offensive (haram) products, such as alcohol;

f. Pilgrimage (Haj) to the city of Mecca, which takes about a week, is required of Muslim adults at least once in their lifetime. Muslim employees may use their vacation days and/or unpaid days to fulfill this rite. The employee and employer should discuss to find available dates and options;

g. Holidays for religious observance and celebration (Eids) happens twice a year. Canadian employers are required by law to give Muslim employees two full days for religious observances in addition to vacation and statutory holidays; h. Clothing and behaviour for Muslims must be modest according to Islam. Muslim men are required to wear loose and non-transparent clothing covering, at a minimum, from their navel to their knees. Some Muslim men wear a small head covering, called a kufi. Some Muslim women wear loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing as well as a hijab, or some a face veil. The employer and Muslim employee may want to discuss workplace dress code exemptions, if necessary;

i. Many Muslim men for religious reasons wear beards. For health and safety reasons in the workplace, employers may require employees with beards to use proper covering such as hairnets or masks;

j. Some Muslims do not practice shaking hands with an unrelated person of the opposite sex as a sign of modesty and avoid any physical contact with members of the opposite gender; and

k. Dietary requirements for Muslims prohibit the consumption of alcohol, pork, and pork by-products according to the Qur’an, Islam’s religious book. Many practicing Muslims will only consume halal meat and poultry slaughtered according to certain standards of slaughter and preparation.

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