Religious discrimination is an unsettling reality that many individuals face in their day-to-day lives. Despite advancements in societal norms and increased awareness about diversity and inclusion, religious discrimination persists in various forms, including in professional environments.
There are many different forms of religious discrimination. Direct religious discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably due to religious beliefs. This form of discrimination is blatant and easy to identify:
- Hiring decisions: An employer may choose not to hire a candidate because of their known religious affiliations. For instance, an employer who prioritizes their Christian faith might refuse to employ a Muslim candidate purely based on their religion.
- Promotion denial: An employer might refuse to promote an employee because of their religious beliefs. For example, a Jewish employee might be overlooked for promotion in favor of a less-qualified colleague due to bias against their faith.
- Unfair treatment: An employee could be mistreated, such as being given undesirable shifts or tasks due to their religious practice. An instance of this would be a Buddhist employee consistently being assigned to work on important religious holidays.
Indirect religious discrimination happens when a seemingly neutral policy disproportionately impacts individuals of a certain religion:
- Dress code policies: Some workplaces have dress codes that unintentionally disadvantage certain religious groups. For example, a policy prohibiting head coverings could adversely affect men who wear turbans or women who wear hijabs.
- Scheduled work hours: Employers may set work hours that interfere with religious practices.
- Holiday observances: Employees who observe non-mainstream religious holidays may be disproportionately affected if a company does not provide accommodations for religious holidays.
Harassment Based on Religion
Harassment based on religion involves unwanted behavior linked to a person’s religion, which creates an offensive, hostile, or intimidating environment.
- Offensive remarks: This can include derogatory comments about an individual’s faith or even generalizations about their religious group.
- Religious jokes or teasing: This form of harassment can involve insensitive jokes or teasing based on religious stereotypes.
- Religious symbols: Harassment can occur when an employee is ridiculed or belittled for displaying religious symbols.
Recourse for Employees
Employees who experience religious discrimination have several options. First, they should report the incident to their supervisor or HR department. If the issue persists, they can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In severe cases, employees may have grounds for legal action against their employers.
Our South Jersey Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Can Help if You Experienced Religious Discrimination
Religious discrimination is no less prevalent than any other type, and if you think your rights have been violated at work, speak with our South Jersey employment discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC today. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.