Palm Beach Gardens Religious Discrimination Attorney
Religion is a hot-button topic for many people. Some people are uncomfortable even discussing their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, while at work. Others may be quite open about their religion and request certain accommodations from an employer to practice their faith.
Federal and state laws protect individuals from religious discrimination in the workplace. This includes both discrimination against a particular religion as well as requiring employers to make certain reasonable accommodations for an employee’s sincerely held beliefs. If you feel that your employer is not living up to these requirements, an experienced Palm Beach Gardens religious discrimination lawyer can advise you on taking legal action. In many cases, you may be entitled to seek monetary compensation for acts of religious discrimination by an employer.
Protecting Religious Beliefs in the Workplace
Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to all government employers and any private employers with at least 15 employees, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of religion. Put simply, this means that a covered employer cannot base any employment-related decision based on an employee or job applicant’s religion. This includes discrimination based on a lack of religious belief as well. For instance, a Christian employer cannot refuse to hire an atheist.
“Religion” in this context is not limited to traditional organized religious groups either. The law protects any beliefs that are religious in nature and “sincerely held.” Nor do those beliefs need to coincide with any official religious sect’s doctrine. To give a simple example, you can be a Roman Catholic who supports abortion rights and still be considered as holding religious beliefs for Title VII purposes. It is important to note, however, that not all personal beliefs are necessarily religious.
In addition to not treating employees or job applicants less favorably because of religion, an employer must also make “reasonable accommodations” upon request for an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. It is up to the employee to make such requests. Some common examples of reasonable accommodations include making scheduling changes–e.g., a Jewish employee who cannot work on the Sabbath–or altering a dress or grooming code requirement so that a male Sikh does not have to shave their beard.
Employers are not necessarily required to grant every requested religious accommodation. While an employer must work with an employee in good faith to develop a workable accommodation, the employer may still refuse if it can show that would create an undue hardship for the company. At the same time, an employer cannot use hardship as a pretext for engaging in discrimination against religious beliefs that they may disagree with.
Contact the Sconzo Law Office Today
Nobody should have to “check their faith” or leave sincerely held religious beliefs at the door when they go to work. Employers must understand that they cannot use religion as a basis for making employment decisions. If you have dealt with an employer who cannot respect this and need to speak with a Palm Beach Gardens religious discrimination lawyer, contact the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., today to schedule a complimentary consultation.