Religion plays an important role in the lives of many people. Unfortunately, practicing their faith can be challenging, particularly in the workplace. When an employer treats you differently because of your faith or institutes workplace policies that interfere with your beliefs, there are actions you can take. Our Chicago religious discrimination attorney explains your rights and some of the options available.
Freedom of Religion and How it Applies in the Workplace
Freedom of religion is included in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to protecting your right to practice any religion you want-or no religion at all-it prohibits governments from pushing or promoting any particular faith through laws, policies, or other actions.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines religious discrimination as treating anyone unfavorably due to their own religious beliefs or those of their spouse. It protects those who belong to organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, as well as those who do not belong to any specific sect but have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral convictions. State and federal laws prohibit employers from engaging in religious discrimination, which can impact the following:
- Hiring decisions;
- Promotions within a company;
- Salary and benefits;
- General treatment within the workplace;
- Any term or condition of employment.
Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Beliefs
In addition to preventing religious discrimination, employers are also required to make ‘reasonable accommodations’ for employees to practice their beliefs. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) advises that this may include:
- Allowing for schedule changes or modified hours for religious services, holidays, and other observances;
- Allowing employees to dress or groom themselves in accordance to the dictates of their faith, even if it is against standard employee guidelines;
- Allowing them to practice or express their religion in the workplace as necessary, without fear of reprisals or harassment.
Employers are prohibited from causing undue hardship on employees by refusing to grant their request. Our Chicago discrimination attorney negotiates with employers on your behalf and will file a complaint with state and federal officials to ensure compliance if needed. If the employer continues to refuse to violate your rights, we can file a lawsuit against them, seeking compensation for lost wages and other damages you suffer.
Reach Out to Our Chicago Religious Discrimination Attorney
You do not have to be intimidated by religious discrimination in the workplace or compromise your beliefs. The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline acts as a strong legal advocate on your side, helping to ensure your rights are protected. To find out more about the options available, contact our Chicago religious discrimination attorney and request a confidential consultation today.