What is Religious Discrimination?

Religious discrimination occurs when your employer makes work-related decisions based on your religious views rather than your skill level, experience, or behavior at work. The discrimination may also be based on the beliefs of your spouse or family members.

If you believe that you’re being victimized at the workplace due to your religion, then you may have a case. The legal team at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. has experience with cases of religious discrimination. We’ll work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

What are the Laws Regarding Religious Discrimination?

If you work for a company with 15 or more employees, you are protected from religious discrimination by federal law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion. This protection extends to both traditional religions, such as Buddhism or Islam, and independent religious or spiritual beliefs. If you practice a less-common religion, such as Wicca or Paganism, you will be protected.

If you work for a small business that employs less than 15 people, you will most likely still be protected from religious discrimination. Most states and local municipalities have laws that protect employees at small businesses from this type of discrimination.

What are the Different Types of Religious Discrimination?

There are two main areas of religious discrimination to consider. The first is discrimination related to work situations. The second is discrimination related to harassment in the workplace.

Discrimination related to work situations can involve many scenarios. If your employer made decisions regarding your hiring, firing, assignments, pay rate, or benefits based on your religious affiliation, then you’re being discriminated against. It’s also against the law for your employer to separate you from other team members or refuse to allow you to interact with the public based on your religion.

Another area of discrimination is harassment. You have the legal right to be free from targeted workplace harassment based on your religious views. If a coworker makes a rude comment one time, it most likely won’t be worth going to court. However, if the harassment is ongoing, and bringing the problem to your superiors has not improved the situation, it might be time to talk to an attorney.

Lastly, there may be a scenario in which an employer attempts to force their religious views on you. This is also a form of discrimination. Your employer can’t demand that you pray, attend church, or participate in religious activities of any kind.

What are Some Examples of Religious Discrimination?

A wide variety of circumstances could be defined as religious discrimination. A few examples include:

  • Being terminated from your position after mentioning your religious beliefs to your colleagues or superiors.
  • An employer refusing to hire you or making derogatory remarks after learning about your religious beliefs during a job interview.
  • Being denied requested days off for special religious holidays, ceremonies, or events.
  • An employer refusing to make allowances for religious apparel, such as the hijab.

These situations are often not cut and dry. Your employer must make reasonable accommodations for your religious beliefs, but it’s possible for an employee to abuse these accommodations. For instance, if you request a large number of days off and cite your religious views as the reason, the court might determine that your requests would’ve caused undue hardship for your employer. Undue hardship can include situations in which your accommodations would’ve created safety issues for other team members or caused a financial loss for your employer.

If you’re concerned about religious discrimination and wondering whether you have a case, please contact Leeds Brown Law, P.C. now. Our experienced attorneys are ready to fight for you. With a simple consultation, we can determine whether you’re being discriminated against. Give us a call now at 1-866-951-1176, or fill out our simple contact form. We’ll respond shortly and set up an appointment for a consultation.

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