Individuals should not have to endure any type of mistreatment in their Florida workplaces because of their religious beliefs. There are state and federal laws that prohibit religious discrimination, but unfortunately, it still happens. If you experienced this at your work, you may feel angry, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. While these are normal feelings, you do not have to deal with this situation alone.
Victims of religious discrimination may not be certain that what they experienced is actually discrimination. It can be intimidating to question an employer or co-worker about his or her actions or intentions, and you may feel more comfortable just staying quiet. If what you experienced is actually discrimination you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim against your employer.
What counts as discrimination?
It is against the law for employers to discriminate on the basis of religion in any aspect of the employment process. This includes hiring, firing, promotion decisions, giving job assignments and more. Harassment can be a type of discriminatory treatment, and it can include disparaging remarks, aggressive comments and threats. The following may help you understand your rights and religious discrimination at work:
- If your religion requires certain clothing or hairstyles, your employer must accommodate these things within reason.
- Your employer cannot assign you to less-desirable work positions, such as those with no customer contact, because of your religious clothing or hairstyle.
- Your employer cannot fire or demote you for requesting reasonable accommodations to observe certain religious holidays or important occasions.
If your employer refuses to accommodate your requests to practice your religion in certain ways while you are at work, he or she must have clear proof that to do so cause a burden on the company’s operations. Additionally, an employer cannot factor your religion into decisions pertaining to downsizing, training, promotional opportunities and more.
What should you do?
One of the most important things you can do if you suspect you are a victim of harassment or religious discrimination in your workplace is to seek legal counsel. If you have grounds for a civil claim, you do not want to delay unnecessarily in moving forward with the appropriate legal steps. It can be intimidating to think about confronting your employer and fighting back against discrimination, but you will benefit from having an experienced employment law attorney on your side.