Indianapolis Religious Discrimination Lawyers Here to Fight
A person’s religious beliefs are a serious matter. Religion provides comfort and strength to believers while also shaping how they live their lives. In fact, religious beliefs are so important that state and federal law, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers from discriminating against a potential or current employee on the basis of religion. Whether someone is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or one of the other world religions, the workplace should be free from discrimination based on an employee’s belief system. When this law is not upheld, religious discrimination attorneys fight for their clients and freedom of religion in a court of law.
Call The Law Office of Deidra N. Haynes today at 317-982-7396 for answers to your religious discrimination questions.
What is Religious Discrimination?
Discrimination based on religious beliefs is when an employer makes decisions about a potential or current employee solely on the basis of the employee’s religion. This type of discrimination may occur during the hiring process, while the employee is employed with the company, and during the termination of the employee. It is illegal for employers to discriminate based on religious beliefs. It is also illegal for employers to ask a potential new hire during the interview process about their religion and beliefs, which is intended to protect workers and employers alike. An employer may not discriminate against someone who belongs to a particular religion, but they also cannot discriminate against someone without religious beliefs, such as an agnostic or atheist employee. This type of discrimination runs so deeply that there are even laws prohibiting an employer from discriminating against an employee based on religious association. An example of a religious association would be an employee married to someone of a particular religion.
Examples of Religious Discrimination
It may not be all that hard to spot religious discrimination in the workplace. It can occur in a variety of actions, all of which stem from a bias and result in religious freedom being threatened. Employees deserve a workplace free from discrimination and harassment, and religious freedom is one of the founding principles of our nation. Here are a few examples specific to religious discrimination in the workplace:
- Implementing or enforcing dress codes or grooming standards in an effort to target employees of certain religions
- Failure to observe etiquette related to the employee’s religion, even after being informed on the matter
- Harassment that may take the form of jokes or slurs related to the religion, garments, or religious practices of the employee
- Harassment or retaliation against an employee for making a religious discrimination complaint
It is worth remembering that while these make up common forms of religious discrimination, they may not be the only actions an employer may take against an employee. For example, an employer may not outwardly discriminate against a particular religion through the actions mentioned above. They may take actions that seem unrelated to religion yet are still based entirely on the religion of the employee. The discrimination could happen in the form of loss of hours, withholding training or promotion, or termination without grounds. If these decisions were made based on the employee’s religion, it is still religious discrimination.
Are Employers Required to Provide Religious Accommodations?
Many acts of discrimination do not happen outright, but rather through an employer ignoring religious accommodations. Under federal law, an employer is required to provide reasonable religious accommodations to any employee with a sincerely held religious belief. What does reasonable religious accommodation look like in action? Here are a few examples:
- Allowing for scheduled time off for major religious holidays for that employee, such as allowing time off on Good Friday for Catholics or not scheduling a Muslim employee to work at night during the last week of Ramadan, which would interfere with nightly prayer vigils.
- Ensuring employees with religions following daily prayer schedules, such as the Muslim faith, are not restricted from short breaks to pray.
- Allowing employees to have scheduled time off on the Sabbath of their religion.
- Not restricting employees from wearing religious garments, including hijabs or yarmulke, in the workplace as long as the garment does not interfere with performance ability or create safety concerns.
- Allowing atheists employees to be excused from any religious events, holidays, or religious acts.
These are just examples, and there may be other accommodations, depending on the religion or situation. If an employer fails to provide reasonable religious accommodations, it may be a sign of religious discrimination. If the employer meets the religious accommodations of one group (such as Christian employees) but fails to meet accommodations for Jewish, Muslim, atheists, or other religions, it may be an act of religious discrimination in the workplace. Whatever the case may be, it is best to speak to an experienced religious discrimination lawyer for additional help on the matter.
What Does a Religious Discrimination Lawyer Do?
A religious discrimination lawyer assists clients with claims of discrimination in a variety of ways. They will put together a case in instances where discrimination has occurred by asking the client questions, gathering information, and collecting pertinent documents to support the claim. A religious discrimination lawyer will also answer any questions the client may have along the way. Finally, the attorney will represent the client in a court of law during the case. Aside from assisting victims of workplace discrimination, religious discrimination attorneys may also work with companies to ensure policies and practices are in place to avoid future claims of discrimination. This is helpful for companies already accused of such discrimination and also as a measure to prevent future complaints.
Let Us Help You Today
Religion is a matter of vital importance for millions of people. The religious beliefs of an employee are personal and should not be used as a tool for unfair treatment in the workplace. If you believe you are the victim of such behavior, contact us today at 317-982-7396 and let us help you.