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You are Here: Home > Discrimination > Religious Discrimination - 2

Religious Discrimination

Religious Discrimination Examples

Listed below are general, hypothetical examples of religious discrimination in the workplace, including reverse religious discrimination. The examples assume that there are no extenuating circumstances that would weaken the claims of religious discrimination indicated. Most are based on real court cases while the rest are speculative under Federal law.

Example 1: An interviewer with the final say does not hire the most-qualified job applicant, solely because the applicant holds particular religious beliefs or none at all.

Example 2: An office manager declines to promote a highly-qualified subordinate of a different religious faith than the manager, clearly in favor of a less-qualified subordinate with the same faith as the manager.

Example 3: A supervisor refuses an employee's reasonable request to change the employee's work schedule on the sabbath of the employee's religion, so the employee may attend a one-hour worship service before work.

Example 4: An HR representative who has the authority, ignores an employee's reasonable request to change the company dress code policy to accommodate the employee's wearing of a mandatory religious garment that poses no workplace safety risk or any other undue hardship.

Example 5: An employee repeatedly and maliciously harasses an immigrant coworker with offensive jokes, slurs, epithets and name calling of an ethnic nature, because of the religious garments that the coworker wears by permission of the workplace dress code policy. As in this example, religious discrimination might intersect with national origin discrimination.

Example 6: A group of employees who share belief in the same religion, create a hostile work environment by aggressively and persistently attempting to proselytize (convert) an unwilling coworker of a different religion or no religion, even after the coworker has repeatedly told them to stop.

Example 7: A director fires a qualified department manager with an excellent track record, solely because the director considers the manager's spouse to be an intolerable "religious nut." This is a fictitious example of religion discrimination by association.

Religious Discrimination Legal Recourse (Relief)

If you reasonably believe that an employer representative, such as a boss, coworker, HR worker or interviewer, has discriminated against you on the basis of religion (or no religion), then you or your representative, such as your attorney, may file a religious discrimination charge with the EEOC or a state EEOC equivalent. Attorneys often accept compelling discrimination cases on a contingency basis.

Did you know?You might have a stronger case if you first followed a company or union grievance procedure that failed to remedy your situation. Otherwise, the defendant might be able to use the Faragher-Ellerth defense against you. Consult the EEOC or an attorney about that.

You or your representative must file a charge with the EEOC or a state equivalent to preserve your right to later file a Federal religious discrimination lawsuit under Title VII. Refer to "Equal Employment Opportunity Commission" or consult an attorney for more information about filing a charge.

An employer may not retaliate against you or your representative for filing a religious discrimination charge or lawsuit, or against you or your witnesses for participating in related proceedings.

Note: This article includes only a brief summation of comprehensive EEOC documents. To access the EEOC's documents for more information, including several hypothetical examples of religious discrimination cases with citations to real court cases, start at the blog post "New Religion Discrimination Guidelines".

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