All employees are granted protection from religious discrimination in the workplace as part of the Civil Rights Act and an extension of the rights granted by the United States Constitution. However, being granted a right does not guarantee that anyone else will respect it, even your employer that you trust to treat you fairly. Identifying discrimination when it happens can be difficult, though, especially if your employer takes deliberate steps to try to hide their unjust behaviors.
There are two ways that religious discrimination can happen in the workplace:
- Differential treatment: You cannot be treated any different for your religion, which means both beneficially and negatively. If you are overlooked for a promotion that everyone thinks you deserve, it could be due to religious discrimination, for example.
- No accommodations: Religious discrimination can also happen if you are not reasonably accommodated to practice your religion in the workplace as you feel is necessary. For example, many religions require prayers to occur at regular intervals in the day, and you must be given time to make that happen as long as it does not create an “undue hardship” for others in your workplace.
Identifying a lack of accommodations should be simple enough. If your employer has not done anything to help you practice your religion in the workplace, or if they have actually told you that you cannot practice your religion there, then it is religious discrimination.
Spotting differential treatment based on religion can be much more difficult, though. Generally, you have to try to form a trail of proof that shows religious discrimination. A good starting point is intercompany emails, texts, flyers, and other communications that show a preference for one religion over another, or a dislike of one religion in particular. For example, if your boss sends out an email blast poking fun at women who wear hijabs, then it could indicate they discriminate against Muslims.
Proudly Standing Up for the Religious Freedoms of Californian Workers
At Polaris Law Group in California, Attorney Bill Marder proudly provides his legal services to people of all religions and all walks of life. If you have been discriminated against by your employer based on your religion – or even your choice to be an atheist – he can lend his talents to protect your rights and set things right. Polaris Law Group focuses on taking on large companies and difficult legal opponents that scare away other law firms. If you work for a corporation or employer with a legal department, then you should choose Attorney Marder to be your legal representative for the road ahead.