What If Your Employer Is Discriminating Against You Because Of Religion?

Posted on: 14 October 2015

By law, religious discrimination by an employer is prohibited. Unfortunately, this does not stop it from occurring. If you feel that your employer is discriminating against you based on your religious beliefs, here is what you need to know. 

Is It Religious Discrimination?

Even though an employer's actions might seem discriminatory, it is possible that they are not. It is important that you are able to discern whether or not your employer is actually discriminating against you. 

Religious discrimination occurs when your employer treats you differently because of your beliefs. For example, if your employer refuses to and has never promoted a Muslim or Jewish employee although there have been many who were qualified, this could potentially be discrimination. 

If your employer refuses to accommodate your beliefs, this is also considered discriminatory. For example, if you need every Saturday off for religious reasons and you are denied although other employees are routinely granted flexible schedules for other non-religious plans, you could possibly have a case. 

What Should You Do?

If you suspect that you are being discriminated against based on religion, your first step should be to file a formal complaint with your company's human resources department. By filing a complaint, you are giving your employer an opportunity to address the situation. You are also helping to create a paper trail that could be used in the event that you need to take legal action. 

If the discrimination continues or you are dissatisfied with the response from human resources, you need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. The agency is tasked with investigating claims of discrimination and taking legal action, if necessary. The EEOC will investigate your case and make a determination. If the EEOC agrees that discrimination did occur, it will try to settle the situation between you and your employer. 

You have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer if the EEOC does not believe that discrimination occurred. In this instance, the EEOC would provide you with a letter giving you the right to sue. The letter is notice to the court that you did file a complaint with the EEOC as required by the government and that you are free to file a lawsuit. 

At every stage of the road to holding your employer responsible for discriminatory practices, you can face challenges. To help ensure that you are on the right path and have taken the right steps, work with an employment lawyer that is experienced in this type of law.