Understanding religious discrimination

Employees in Wisconsin may benefit from learning more about the religious discrimination as defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This type of discrimination occurs when an applicant or employee is untreated unfavorably or unfairly because of his or her religion. There are federal laws designed to protect an individual’s moral and ethical beliefs and members who are apart of renowned organized religious sects, such as Islam, Christianity or Judaism.

Religious discrimination is prohibited from existing at the workplace, this include any impact on fringe benefits, training, hiring, practices, quality of pay termination, layoffs or any other aspect of employment. It is also considered unlawful to harass someone due to his or her religion. The illegal harassment may be described as creating an offensive or hostile work environment for an employee or adverse action against an employee because of their religious affiliations. The EEOC also considers religious discrimination to include treating someone unfairly due to his or her spouse’s religious beliefs or affiliations.

A fellow employee, supervisor or customer may be guilty of religious discrimination. Under Title VII, employees are prohibited from implementing segregation at the workplace because of religious affiliations, including personal grooming practices or attire. This includes isolating an employee from customer contact based on a fear that their religious affiliations may affect sales.

Anyone who feels victimized by religious discrimination at the workplace may benefit from contacting legal counsel. Lawyers may be effective in helping protect employee rights and freedom of religion. Employment lawyers may able to help victimized workers obtain back pay, reinstatement, new workplace protocols in compliance with EEOC standards and equitable benefits. Many of these lawyers begin the process by investigating the incident and identifying which parties may be held culpable for the ensuing damages.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Religious Discrimination“, October 30, 2014

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