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The Civil Rights Act of 1964, particularly Title VII, bars employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of religion. This federal law applies to all areas of employment, including hiring, termination, promotion, compensation and all other employment conditions. Title VII also mandates that employers make reasonable accommodations for a worker’s religious practices, as long as the accommodation does not cause a burden on the employer. Voluntary shift swaps, flexible scheduling or job reassignments would be considered reasonable accommodations.
If you have been discriminated against at work because of your religion, a religious discrimination attorney may be able to help you file a lawsuit. To find out if you have a case, fill out our free case review form today.
Reasonable Accommodations and Undue Hardship
Employers cannot schedule selection activities, such as exams, that interfere with an applicant or worker’s religious priorities; ask a potential employee about their future availability at certain times; establish a restrictive dress code; or prohibit an employee from observing the Sabbath or religious holiday, unless the employer can show that not doing so would create a burden on the company.
When an accommodation interferes with an employer’s business, the company can claim undue hardship. For instance, a reasonable accommodation would be granting a shift change to allow an employee the opportunity to observe a religious holiday. However, allowing an entire holy month off would most likely be considered unreasonable. An employer can also claim undue hardship if adjusting a valid seniority system to accommodate one worker’s religion denies another worker the shift or assignment guaranteed by the seniority policy.
Religious Discrimination: Hostile Work Environment
If a company maintains or permits a hostile work environment for workers of certain faiths, religious discrimination can be alleged. In most cases, a hostile work environment, with regard to religion, is created when co-workers harass another employee because of their religion, so much that it creates an intimidating work environment. To be considered discrimination, the harassing behavior must be severe. For instance, a slight disagreement about faith may not be enough to allege religious discrimination. However, constant, insulting or threatening behavior with the purpose of intimidating an employee of a certain race would most likely be considered hostile work environment harassment.
If you or a loved one has experienced religious discrimination in the workplace, fill out the free case review form on the right. A religious discrimination attorney can evaluate your case and determine whether you are eligible for an employment discrimination lawsuit.