The federal government has just released new documents meant to help employees who may have questions concerning employment discrimination – specifically religious discrimination in the work place. These articles are meant to provide general guidance. However, if you believe that have suffered any form of discrimination, it is always a good idea to consult with a dedicated Georgia employment discrimination attorney right away.
The first document is an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) fact sheet. This sheet sets forth basic information concerning workplace rights and responsibilities regarding religious dress and grooming under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
For example, your workplace has an obligation to reasonably accommodate your religious practices unless doing so would cause an “undue hardship” to an employer’s business. In some situations an employee’s religious dress or grooming hasn’t been allowed where it violates certain workplace security, safety or health concerns. However, the employer must prove the practice actually poses an undue hardship on its business operations. Recently, a record setting religious discrimination jury verdict was awarded to a Muslim man who suffered illegal religious discrimination based in part on his refusal to shave his beard, which is part of his religion and culture.
Additionally, the EEOC issued a question and answer document further noting that an employer may not segregate employees based on religion, permit harassment of employees based on religion or retaliate against an employee who requests a religious accommodation or engages in other protected activity under Title VII.
The EEOC explained “In most instances, employers are required by federal law to make exceptions to their usual rules or preferences to permit applicants and employees to observe religious dress and grooming practices.” Employers likely violate Title VII if they fire or take other adverse action against an employee for wearing certain items of clothing, or a particular hairstyle. It is not acceptable for an employer to discriminate or use as an excuse that the discrimination is in response to the employer’s customers, clients or other employees objections.
Unfortunately religious discrimination is on the rise. If you have questions or believe that you may have been subjected to religious discrimination, please contact the top Georgia religious discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP immediately to discuss your matter.