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What is Religious Discrimination?Client-Focused & Passionate Representation

What is Religious Discrimination?


Working in Palm Beach Gardens or a nearby area should never have to mean that you are subject to religious discrimination from an employer or from co-workers or even clients and customers. It is critical for you to know that there are federal and state laws that protect Florida employees against religious discrimination in the varied forms it can take, and that Florida employees also may be eligible to seek religious accommodations in the workplace depending on their specific circumstances. What is religious discrimination and what can you do about it? Consider the following information from our Palm Beach Gardens employment discrimination attorneys.

Defining Religious Discrimination 

How does the law define religious discrimination? According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the term religious discrimination “involves treating a person (an applicant or an employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs,” or “treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion.”

A worker is protected from religious discrimination under both federal law and state law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination for people in various classes, including discrimination on the basis of religion. The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 also prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace. For an employee to be protected, they must have “sincerely held” religious beliefs. Those beliefs can be of known traditional and organized religions, but people with sincerely held “religious, ethical, or moral beliefs” that are not part of a traditional and organized religion may also be protected.

Different Forms of Religious Discrimination in Florida Workplaces 

Religious discrimination can take many different forms, so it is essential to understand that religious discrimination is not simply one thing or one type of act. It can involve:

  • Making decisions about hiring, promoting, pay, or termination on the basis of an employee’s religion or association with another person of a particular religion;
  • Hostile work environment harassment on the basis of religion, which may include making offensive remarks about a particular religion or religious beliefs;
  • Segregation on the basis of religion, including religious grooming practices or clothing (such as requiring an employee of a particular religion to work in a role that is not customer-facing);
  • Retaliation against an employee — meaning taking an adverse action against the employee — on the basis of religion; and
  • Refusing to grant a reasonable religious accommodation.

Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Needs

 Employees who have sincerely held religious beliefs can request reasonable religious accommodations that an employer must grant unless the religious accommodation would create an undue hardship for the employer. Common religious accommodations typically involve the ability to wear certain religious dress or head coverings, or to follow grooming practices that would otherwise be in violation of the workplace dress code.

Contact Our Palm Beach Gardens Employment Discrimination Lawyers 

Anyone who believes they have been subject to religious discrimination in their workplace, or in the job application or hiring process, should seek legal advice to find out about options. An experienced Palm Beach Gardens employment discrimination attorney at Sconzo Law Office can speak with you today to learn more about the details of the religious discrimination you faced, and we can provide you with information about steps you may be able to take to hold the employer accountable and to seek a remedy. Call our firm today for more information.




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