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Religious discrimination and harassment don’t belong at work

Employees should be able to do their job duties without having to worry about being harassed or discriminated against. There are several aspects of a person’s life that are covered by laws that forbid that type of behavior in the workplace. 

There are many different things that are included in this area of law. Understanding a few points can help employers and employees to be sure that there aren’t any issues in the workplace. 

What religions are covered by the law?

The laws that forbid harassment and discrimination based on religion cover any moral, ethical, or religious belief as long as it’s sincerely held. This protects workers who are part of mainstream religions, such as Catholicism, Christianity, or Judaism. It also protects workers who are part of a non-traditional religion. 

What types of accommodations are possible?

Religious accommodations must be provided by employers unless it would cause an undue hardship on the company. Some examples of what should be allowed include:

  • Scheduling around established prayer times
  • Certain hairstyles, such as dreadlocks for Rastafarian employees
  • Grooming practices, such as being unshaven for Sikh men
  • Head coverings and other clothing standards

Discriminatory acts, including bypassing someone for a promotion based on their religious beliefs, can’t happen in the workplace. Harassment, such as making fun of someone’s religious beliefs, also shouldn’t ever occur. Employers must have clear policies to prevent these types of issues. 

Any employee who’s been subjected to religious discrimination should learn about their options for handling the situation. These cases can be rather complex so be sure that you discuss the matter with someone who’s familiar with the laws and how they apply to you. There are time limits associated with these cases, so act right away.

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