An individual’s religious beliefs are often the most among the most important and deeply held that a person can have. In addition, these beliefs may require people to engage in certain practices with regard to worship, diet, dress, or other aspects of life that may be different than those around them. Religious freedom is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination in most employment settings. In many cases, the victims of religious discrimination can recover significant compensation by filing a lawsuit against his or her employer. For this reason, it is important for anyone who believes that he or she was discriminated against to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
What Employers are Prohibited from Religious Discrimination?
Not all employers are subject to the provisions of Title VII. All government employers are covered, as are private employers that have at least 15 employees. If your employer is covered by Title VII, you have the right to work in an environment that is free from various forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on religion.
What Religious Beliefs are Protected?
The law protects all religious beliefs, whether or not they are considered “mainstream.” That being said, it is not enough to invoke the word “religion” to protect a specific activity. In order to qualify as a “religious belief,” a belief must be central to a person’s worldview and involve a concept similar to the traditional notion of “God.” For example, an employee cannot simply state that his or her religion requires a three-hour lunch break in order to come under the protections of Title VII.
Discrimination In Hiring Or Firing
An employer may not make decisions regarding hiring or firing based on religious beliefs. For example, an employer could not only hire people who share his or her religious convictions or refuse to hire people of a certain religion.
Harassment occurs when an employment environment becomes hostile, intimidating, or offensive. Generally, a pattern of repeated conduct is required for a person to be able to sustain a harassment claim. Common examples of harassment may include offensive comments, jokes, threatening behavior, or calling a person names.
While the law prohibits employers from making certain decisions based on religion, it actually requires them to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs. Reasonable accommodation may include allowing an employee to wear a headdress or to not cut their hair. A employer is required to accommodate religious beliefs unless it would pose an undue hardship.
Contact A Philadelphia Religious Discrimination Lawyer Today To Schedule A Free Consultation
Individuals who believe that they have been subjected to religious discrimination by an employer should discuss their case with an experienced Philadelphia religious discrimination attorney as soon as possible. Often, the victims of religious discrimination are legally entitled to significant compensation under federal or state law. To schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyer, contact The Pearce Law Firm today at 215-557-8686.