Religious Discrimination

It is illegal under both Federal and State Law to discriminate in the "terms or conditions of employment" on the basis of a person's religious beliefs or practices. "Terms or conditions of employment" pertains to many aspects of a person's job: interviewing, hiring, your position, pay, title, hours, vacation, reasonable accommodations to observe Sabbath or other religious days, and other terms of employment.

According to Federal Law, employers must make reasonable accommodations of a person's religious beliefs or practices in the workplace, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the employer. Undue hardship is found when the accommodation is economically hard, or when accommodating the religious beliefs of one employee are unfair to other employees who do not have the same beliefs. However, most of the time accommodations do not create an undue hardship. Further, it is inappropriate and many times illegal for your employer to ask about the specifics of your religious beliefs, your availability for future holidays based on religion, or to require a dress code that violates a person's religious beliefs or practices.

Sometimes religious discrimination is compounded by national origin discrimination and racial discrimination. Many cultures have a national religion or a practice that is not Judeo-Christian based or reflected in mainstream American culture. Further, religious discrimination can also happen to atheists.

If you have received harassment based on your religious beliefs, practices, lack of religious beliefs or practices, or your dress (such as wearing a yarmulke at work) you may be the victim of religious discrimination. It is illegal for you to be treated differently than other employees who do not share your religion or beliefs. It is important to contact an experienced discrimination attorney to discuss your situation and how the law may be able to help.

Further Information