If you are reading this, then you may have been asking yourself what type of actions in the workplace is considered religiously discriminatory? Essentially, the refusal to reasonably accommodate someone’s religious practices or beliefs, among other actions, counts as religious discrimination. That is, unless the accommodation puts a serious burden on the functioning of a company. Other examples of religious discrimination can include harassment and biased hiring practices. Here we have discussed what employment discrimination can look like in the workplace.

Religious Harassment
Harassment due to an employee’s beliefs or practices in the form of offensive behavior, humiliation, or remarks is against the law. An employee is protected from insults due to their religious clothing, such as grooming habits, yarmulke, headscarves, hairstyles, and facial hair. Innocent comments may not be actionable, however, frequent or severe behavior of an offensive nature that contributes to a hostile work environment surely can be. It can be difficult to figure out where the line is drawn between what is offensive and what is not, which is why it’s best for workplaces to avoid all types of comments related to religion while at work.

Refusing To Accommodate
An employer is not required by law to accommodate a worker’s practices or beliefs if it is a burden to the business operations. So an employer only has to allow adjustments if it is reasonable. Minor modifications to an employee’s work schedule and shift swaps can count as proper adjustments. Before an employee can take action against an employer, they must have notified the company of their needs, a dialogue is had, and the employer is provided enough time to consider the accommodation. An employer may conclude an adjustment is too burdensome if it increases costs, causes hardship to other employees, or results in safety concerns.

Biased Hiring Practices
An employer that is found to have been biased in their hiring practices based on an applicants religion may find themselves in a discrimination lawsuit. This type of discrimination involves the employer making hiring decisions, including wrongful termination, based on someone’s religion or lack thereof. Examples of discriminatory actions can entail refusing to hire someone of a certain religious group, stricter promotion requirements for those of a specific religion, or imposing different work duties on an employee due to their practices or beliefs.

Treating someone in an unfavorable way because of their sincerely held beliefs is against the law, and can open up a business to lawsuits. As a Chicago, IL employment discrimination lawyer from Disparti Law Group has seen, religious discrimination claims have been on the rise, and are anticipated to become a serious problem for employees in the future. Current employees and those searching for job prospects must be aware of the warning signs that religious discrimination could be the culprit of their adverse treatment. By understanding what religious discrimination means and how it can present itself in the workplace, people can take action when if it happens to them.