America is a cultural melting pot, and the majority of workplaces reflect this. The law also reflects this through its anti-discrimination statutes. Generally, most people get along and are not treated poorly at work because of their religious beliefs or background.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and religious discrimination still very much exists. Discrimination of this type can take numerous forms, as outlined below.
Denial of opportunities
Whether an individual is applying for a new position or seeking a promotion, their religious beliefs and practices should not factor into the decision to hire or not hire them. They should also not be denied access to essential training or equal pay based on their religious affiliation (or lack of one). Singling out a person because of their faith is discrimination, and the legal penalties for this are potentially very serious.
Prohibiting prayer activities
Many faiths have designated times for worship. It’s generally not very difficult to incorporate this into the working day, but some employers may try to prevent workers from engaging in their religious practices. People have a constitutional right to practice their faith without undue interference. An employer who gets in the way of this could be held to account legally for discrimination.
Sometimes, discriminatory practices are much more blatant and directly harmful. An individual may have formed a prejudicial opinion of all followers of a particular faith and taken it out on their colleague. In serious cases, biased views like this can escalate to verbal and even physical harassment.
If you are being treated unfairly at work because of your faith, then it’s important to take action. Getting some legal guidance will give you a better idea of what to do next.