Examples of workplace religious discrimination

All workers in Wisconsin deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, some employers and supervisors violate the law and discriminate against employees based on certain protected characteristics. One of those characteristics is religion; these are some examples of workplace religious discrimination.

Verbal or physical harassment

Employment law makes harassment of any kind illegal in the workplace. Some religious workplace discrimination involves verbal or physical harassment. If someone is targeted because of their religion, the harasser might make insulting comments about the employee’s clothing, religious jewelry or hair or physically harass them. An example would be pulling off a female Muslim employee’s hijab.

Not allowing for religious observance

Employers are prohibited from preventing workers from taking time off for religious observance regardless of their faith. Deliberately making an employee work during their observed holidays is a form of religious discrimination. This is even clearer if the employer allows employees who practice other religions to take time off for observance.

Paying lower salaries to some religious groups

Another type of workplace religious discrimination occurs when an employer pays workers of a specific religion lower salaries compared with their coworkers. Workers in the same position or rank must be paid equally regardless of their religion. A worker experiencing this issue has the right to file a formal complaint.

Other discriminatory actions

Employers cannot legally terminate an employee because of their religion. If they do this, it violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If a worker is fired or laid off, it must be because of legitimate reasons. The same can be said for refusing to promote a current employee who is due for a promotion or not hiring an applicant based on their religion or assumed religion. Employers also cannot withhold work projects from workers because they practice a specific religion.

Your employer cannot treat you unfairly or discriminate against you in any way because of the religion you practice. If you have faced workplace religious discrimination, contact an attorney at Alan C. Olson and Associates to discuss your case.


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