You are protected from religious discrimination regardless of your religion because of Title VII. Title VII is a portion of legislation that was created in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a historic combination of laws that greatly increased the level of protection from discrimination and other civil injustices for many Americans.
Religious discrimination is the unfavorable treatment of an employee or applicant because of an individual’s religious beliefs. It protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.
In religious discrimination law, the employee’s protection is extended to include prohibiting unfavorable treatment of the employee because of the employee’s marriage to, or association with, someone of a particular religion as well as because of a person’s connection to a religious organization.
Employers are expected to reasonably accommodate employee’s sincerely held religious practices unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer. This could include modifying the dress code to allow religious garments to be worn (such as religious head coverings) or permitting facial hair. It could also include modifying an employee’s work schedule to accommodate religious holidays. Undue hardship for an employer means that the accommodations are costly, present safety issues, decrease efficiency, infringe on the rights of other employees, or require other employees to do more than their share of work.
Since employers are generally aware that discrimination is wrong, it is often not a blatant act. Although it can surface in a variety of ways, the following list indicates some examples of religious discrimination:
- An interviewer with the final say does not hire the most-qualified job applicant, due to the applicant’s volunteer work with a religious organization.
- A supervisor hires a less qualified applicant who is of the same religious belief as the supervisor instead of a more qualified applicant who is of a different religious belief.
- The majority of the employees in a particular department are of the same religious belief. They continually discuss their beliefs and attempt to persuade the one member of the team who is of a different religious belief. The attempt to “convert” continues despite the team member continually telling the team to stop.
- Employees habitually forward emails with religious jokes and exchange religious jokes while conversing in-between meetings. An employee who is a member of the religion most frequently made fun of, frequently tells the others to stop and informs the manager. The employee’s behavior continues and the manager tells the religious employee to “lighten up”.
Proving religious discrimination can be challenging, but with the right legal team, it can be done. There are a variety of ways that the qualified lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley can assist you. Take the first step to protecting yourself and stopping this hurtful and illegal behavior. Take advantage of a free initial consultation to discuss your specific case by calling the toll free number (888) 500-8469.