The United States is the melting pot, with individuals belonging to all different faiths, or choosing not to follow any religion. The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are not only prohibited from discriminating against workers on the basis of religion, but must also make reasonable accommodations, unless doing so would place an undue hardship on them.
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Defining Religious Discrimination
An employer cannot make a negative decision related to hiring, firing, promoting, wages, benefits, assignment or other employment matters based upon the employee’s religion, or lack of a belief. In addition, the person may not be separated due to his or her religion. For example, a company cannot position an employee in a hidden location, such as a stockroom, only because of concerns that the customers might have a religious preference. Also, an employee may not be compelled to participate in a religious activity as a term of employment.
The law protects practitioners of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, and other people who hold a religious, ethical or moral belief. A worker who is married or otherwise related to a person of a particular faith is also protected from discrimination.
Employers must make a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s religion that is not an undue hardship. Reasonable accommodations might include allowing a deviation from a prescribed uniform to accommodate religious attire or permitting shift changes on religions holidays.
Accommodations in Appearance
A religion may be expressed through traditional attire, headwear, hairstyles, beards or jewelry. Conversely, a religion might prohibit or discourage certain clothing. Health and safety factors may render the dress a hardship.
Learn More about Religious Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodations
To learn more about religious discrimination and the right to reasonable accommodations, schedule a claims evaluation with Schneider Wallace. Our attorneys represent clients in in the state and federal courts. Our firm conveniently maintains offices in Scottsdale, The San Francisco Bay Area and Houston to serve our clients