Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

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March 26, 2018

Employers in the United States are forbidden to discriminate against a potential employee simply based on their religion, yet this happens all the time. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to base any decision related to employment on an applicant’s religious affiliation. This includes refusing to hire, promote, or fire an employee. This applies to all religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as less discussed religions. When an applicant is denied a job simply because of their religious beliefs, they may be able to sue for religious discrimination. Religion is, of course, a very sensitive subject, and many employers may find it difficult to bring up the topic without crossing the line into discrimination.

In order to better understand your rights following religious discrimination, we must first point out that there are two common types of religious discrimination claims: when an employee is treated differently (negatively) based on his or her religious beliefs, and when an employer fails to accommodate an employee’s religious belief or affiliation. For today’s purpose, we are going to focus on the first type of religious discrimination. If you have been denied work because of your religion or the beliefs you hold, please contact Janovsky & Associates today. Our Frisco employment discrimination lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and how you may be able to proceed moving forward with a lawsuit.

Denied Employment Based on Religion: Now What?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly states that an employer cannot make a job decision based on an applicant’s religious belief – or lack thereof. This means that company owners cannot deny employment to someone because they are a Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other religion. When this occurs, discrimination has taken place and you may have the right to file a lawsuit. It is also illegal for an employer to favor an applicant or employee based on their religion.

When it comes to filing a religious discrimination lawsuit against your employer, it is imperative you are able to prove discrimination. This isn’t always easy, which is where an experienced discrimination lawyer may come in handy. In order to prove discrimination took place, you must be able to show you were treated differently or denied the job because of your religion. In some cases, an employer may outright admit a religious bias, but in other cases, the discrimination is more covert. Religious discrimination cases are often built on circumstantial evidence. If you believe you have a strong case against the company and you have determined you were discriminated against because of your religious beliefs, the first step may be to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In most cases, a charge must be filed within 180 days of the discriminatory act and the employer must be notified of the action. At this point, the EEOC will likely investigate the charge to determine whether or not a claim against the employer should be filed.

In the event the EEOC determines your claim is valid, they will either suggest mediation between you and the employer or that you file a claim in federal court. If you would like to learn more about your options following religious discrimination, please contact Janovsky & Associates today.

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