Employers and employees need to be aware of the possibility of religious-discrimination claims in the workplace. Employees can require certain accommodations to be made under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Specifics of the Act can be read here. How to know if Title VII applies to your workplace? Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to the Act. Under the Act, employers cannot discriminate due to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Segregation cannot occur in the workplace, and harassment is not allowed. Employers cannot deny a “reasonable request” for accommodations, if it is based on “sincerely held” religious beliefs. You can read more about the application of Title VII in workplace settings here.
Due to the somewhat confusing nature of what is considered a “reasonable request” and which beliefs are covered under the “sincerely held” language, an attorney’s assistance is often needed. It is suggested that the best way to prevent religious discrimination claims is to educate employees on the components covered under Title VII, such as religious dress and grooming. It is better to be made aware of these protected categories prior to a claim being made.
If you are in need of assistance with religious or any accommodation issues in the workplace, contact Wolfe Law Office for a free consultation at 304-245-9097.