Every person should be free to make the choices about their lives, which include the freedom to choose the way they profess their faith in God. This basic right should be respected by everybody including people in the workplace. However, discrimination is still a great hurdle that the society faces. That is why it is important for people to be aware of their rights especially in the workplace. Over the last few years, there has been a number of religious discrimination charges filed before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, this could not be used to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign against discrimination on the basis of one’s religion. Not a lot of victims come forward to seek justice. This is caused by the people’s lack of knowledge about employment laws and how these legal remedies can help them. Here are some very important information about anti-religious discrimination laws and how these can help protect you from abuses.
What is Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination in workplace happens when a person, whether an applicant or an employee, is treated unfavorably because of his or her beliefs religiously. Anti-religious discrimination laws helps protect people who follow big or minority organized religions. Whether it is Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, nobody should be treated differently because of their chosen religious organization. This includes people with no affiliation with any organized religions.
Protections offered by anti-religious discrimination laws
Under this law, companies are prohibited from making religion as the main reason for one’s hiring, firing, determination of pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, as well as any other terms or conditions of employment. Moreover, people should never be discriminated because of religion. Frequent or severe teasing and making comments that are offensive to one’s beliefs is likewise strictly prohibited. Additionally, one employee should never be segregated because of religion such as assigning them to a non-customer contact position because of feared and even actual customer preference.
More than doing something to offend the employee, failing to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee’s request in relation with his or her religious beliefs is also unlawful. As long as the request causes minimal burden on the operations of the employer’s business, the requests for reasonable accommodation of an employee should be allowed. Some of such reasonable accommodation includes flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, as well as modifications to workplace policies and practices. Also, employees should be allowed to follow their religion’s dress and grooming policies, long as it does not cause undue problems to the company’s operation.
Finally, an employee experiencing discrimination in the workplace on the basis of religion should be allowed to voice out their frustrations and their grievances tackled, investigated, and resolved. Retaliation against an employee who reports about acts of discrimination is strictly prohibited by the law.
Knowing your rights and fighting for it
Acts of abuse and harassment against an employee because of his or her religion and other forms of discrimination is not and will never be acceptable. That is why victims must have the courage to come forward and fight these abuses by their employers. Being aware of your rights as an employee is just winning half the battle. Standing up and fighting for it helps provide you the complete protection that these laws offer. There are religious discrimination lawyers that you can consult to help you with your predicament. However, you should not just hire any legal representative and get only the services of the best employment lawyers for religious discrimination to ensure your chances of winning your claims.