The United States prides itself on being welcoming to people of all backgrounds. Individuals are entitled to speak their minds and practice their chosen religion. These are rights that extend to the workplace.
Unfortunately, religious discrimination at work can occur. What exactly does this look like?
Some forms of religious discrimination can be blatant. For instance, an employee may be fired because the boss doesn’t like people from their religious background. If the boss is unable to fire them, they may go out of their way to make life as difficult as possible during work hours. For instance, they could make derogatory comments or even physically harass the individual.
It’s important to remember that prospective employees can also face religious discrimination. For example, an individual may be removed from the application process due to their religious background. This is as unlawful as treating an already employed worker unfairly because of their religion.
Religious discrimination can also occur in more subtle ways. Indirect discrimination is a term associated with acts or policies that apply to all workers, but impact one group of people more than others.
For instance, the employer may implement a mandatory dress code. If this dress code restricts religious individuals from wearing sacred garments, then it may be discriminatory. Employers may also indirectly discriminate with work schedules. If rigid schedules are set that unreasonably prevent religious workers from praying, this could be a form of indirect discrimination.
As a worker, you should not face discrimination based on religion, skin color, disability or any other protected characteristic. If you feel that your rights have been violated, seek legal guidance to find out how to remedy the situation.