Religious Discrimination at Work

If you’ve experienced discrimination of religious values at work, it can be a very difficult thing to deal with. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their religion.  Individuals should be informed on the law regarding religious discrimination, workplace discrimination and more – and how to deal with it.

Discrimination of Religion at Work Cases

One famous case involves the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library, when sued by Connie Rehm.  Mrs. Rehm, who had held her job there for twelve years, was fired for refusing to work on Sundays – the day of rest in her religion.  Three years after the termination, Mrs. Rehm won her case and was able to take her job back at the library, as well as have her Sundays off.  She also won more than $50,000 in damages.

Discrimination of Religion Law and Policies

You should read your company’s policies regarding discrimination and religious matters, and keep a copy of those policies for future reference.  It’s also important to fully understand religious discrimination law as set forth in the Civil Rights Act.  By knowing these things, individuals can better understand whether they have been discriminated against and what to watch out for.

Examples of Discrimination against Religious

At times, it can be difficult to tell whether you’re the victim of religious discrimination at work or not.  There are some common behaviors that show up around religious discrimination cases, which may make it easier to identify.  Some of those behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • An employer who treats individuals differently because of their religious behaviors, such as not giving them the same bonuses or rewards that other employees receive.
  • Forcing an employee to participate in religious activities with threat of termination or punishment if they do not.
  • Employers who refuse to be flexible at all with employees’ normal religious practices – such as refusing to allow a certain day off each week.  This is assuming the flexibility would not impose a hardship on the employer.

How to Take Legal Action

One can take legal action against an employer if they feel as though they’ve been discriminated against.  There are several things that must be proven in order for a religious discrimination case to be won, including that the employer truthfully did engage in discriminatory behavior and that the employee suffered as a result of this.

  • Document the Incident – One of the best things you can do if you feel that you’ve been discriminated against is document every single incident of discrimination, including what happened, who was present and names of witnesses.  This will help you remember important details later in the case.
  • Report the Incident – You should report the religious discrimination to a supervisor who was not involved in the discrimination, including the full details of the incident.
  • Consultation with an Attorney – Having a free consultation with an attorney who specializes in discrimination of religion is a good idea.  Attorneys who are knowledgeable in this area of law can help you determine whether you have a legitimate case and whether you’re able to prove all aspects that must be proven.

By being prepared and knowing what to do against religious discrimination and how to take action, individuals can protect their right to religious freedom.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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