Workplace religious accommodation for muslims and the promise of state constitutionalism

Peter J. Longo, Joan M. Blauwkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers whether state constitutionalism provides greater possibilities for workplace religious accommodation than is currently available to religious minorities within federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We approach this question via a case study of the controversy over religious accommodation for practicing Muslims employed by the JBS Swift and Company meatpacking plant in Grand Island, NE. The case study consists of analyses of the requirements for religious accommodation under federal law, examination of the reasons why religious accommodation under federal law was not achieved in the Grand Island case, and analysis of Nebraska constitutional law on the subject of religious free exercise. We find that the language in the Nebraska Constitution regarding protection of religious practice provides grounds for Muslims and other religious minorities in Nebraska to seek religious accommodations in the workplace through state government venues that they have been unable to achieve under federal law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalGreat Plains Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Accommodation
  • Free exercise of religion
  • Muslims
  • Nebraska
  • State constitutionalism
  • Title VII
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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