Discrimination in any form has no place in a professional environment. Colorado employees should be able to go to work and do their jobs without fear of experiencing negative or discriminatory treatment because of their religious views. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is still a problem for many, and victims are often afraid to speak out and assert their rights.
The United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has specific rules regarding an employee’s religious rights in the workplace and how employers must provide certain allowances. If you believe you are experiencing this type of discrimination in your place of work, you do not have to stay silent. It is possible that you have grounds to move forward with a civil claim, a process through which you may be able to hold your employer accountable and seek justice.
What does this type of discrimination look like?
Religious discrimination can come in many different forms. While offhand comments may not count as harassment or discrimination, offensive comments, threats, segregation and treating someone negatively because of his or her faith does. Some of the following from the EEOC may help you understand religious discrimination:
- Employers have to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices by providing flexible scheduling for holy days, modifications to policies and more.
- Employers have to respect and reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs by allowing him or her to wear certain clothing, such as head coverings, as long as it does not cause undue hardship or affect the ability to do the job.
- Employers must handle reports of harassment or discrimination promptly and enforce policies that protect the rights of all who work there.
There are situations where religious discrimination could be grounds for legal action. Perhaps your employer is the one responsible for the harassment, or perhaps he or she failed to act when you reported it. You may feel intimidated or overwhelmed, but you can take steps to protect your rights.
Speak with an attorney
One of the most practical and helpful things you can do is to speak with an attorney regarding your rights and options. If a claim is appropriate, you will need experienced guidance as you navigate the civil justice system. Instead of fearing retaliation or disbelief, start by reaching out for support from someone who will advocate for you at every step.