Religious discrimination is illegal in the workplace environment. Religion is a protected class, along with things like national origin, race, gender and age. All employees are supposed to be treated equally, regardless of the religion that they practice.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If you’re wondering whether or not you’re experiencing religious discrimination, consider some of the following ways that it takes place.
Refusing to hire workers of a certain religion
Perhaps the most obvious example of religious discrimination is when an employer refuses to hire any workers who follow a certain religious persuasion. This shows a clear religious bias by the employer. It could also lead to wrongful termination claims if employees are terminated once the employer learns of the religion. Most employers are not this overt in the modern era, but it does happen.
Instituting a dress code
There’s nothing wrong with having a dress code overall, but employers need to make sure that it applies to everyone equally. If the dress code is designed to make it so that religious attire cannot be worn by specific employees, that could be discriminatory. The dress code cannot unfairly target any protected class of employees more severely than others.
Passing them over for promotions
Finally, some workers will not be fired or denied employment, but they still feel like they are being treated unfairly. They may get passed over for promotions in favor of employees who are less qualified – but who follow a different religion. There could also be situations where an employee may not be paid fairly or given the same benefits as everyone else. These are still examples of discrimination, even though the worker is employed.
Those who find themselves in this position need to know about all of their legal options.