HILTON HEAD ISLAND — The senior staff of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division has been told they may no longer start their monthly meetings with a prayer.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports (http://bit.ly/pvN7RB ) the prayers have been part of the meeting for a decade, since the 9-11 terror attacks. But the town human resources department learned of the prayers last month and asked town staff attorney Brian Hulbert for an opinion.

Hulbert says the U.S. Supreme Court has held that legislative meetings, such as town council meetings, may open with prayer. But he says that protection doesn’t extend to a workplace meeting where some employees might feel obligated to pray.

Officials say there had been no complaints about the prayer, but officials wanted an opinion on the legality.