Everyone should be able to freely practice their religion without fear of undue discrimination. This applies to the workplace as well, where employees are legally protected from discrimination for their religion, race, gender, and more. Unfortunately, harassment still occurs on the basis of people’s personal religion. If you believe you’ve been the victim of religious discrimination, you should consider your legal options because you may be able to file a charge against your employer. Read on or reach out to an Atlanta Religious Discrimination Attorney today to find out more about your religious legal rights in the workplace.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE?
Freedom of religion is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This means that legally, employers are not allowed to treat employees differently for their religion, deny reasonable religious accommodations, or retaliate against individuals practicing protected religious activities. Employers also can’t force employees to take part in any religious activity in order to retain their employment.
Religious accommodations are when employers make exceptions to employee rules if it goes against a certain employee’s religion. For example, if employees in a workplace have a required uniform but one employee chooses to dress more modestly for their religion, then the employer should reasonably make an exception to allow that employee to safely work without going against their personal religious beliefs.
Some other examples of reasonable religious accommodations include:
- Flexible scheduling
- Voluntary shift substitutions
- Other dress code exceptions (like religious head coverings)
- Exceptions to grooming practices (like a beard or long hair)
When making accommodations, the employer has the final say on the alternative options for religious employees. Employers are only allowed to deny accommodation requests if it could cause the business to suffer undue hardship. This means if the alternative option is harmful to other employees, costs the business substantially, or decreases efficiency in the workplace, then the employer has the right to deny the accommodation request.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I EXPERIENCED RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION?
If you were denied reasonable religious accommodations or harassed for your religious choices, you may be able to file a charge against your employer. It’s important to take action as quickly as possible. In Georgia, you have 180 days from the day of the incident to file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you are a federal employee, you must contact an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor within 45 days of the incident.
If you think you have a religious discrimination case, you should speak with an experienced employment law attorney for assistance. Ben Barrett Law understands how reprehensible discrimination in the workplace is and wants to fight for you! Contact us today for quality legal counseling.