Religious discrimination happens when people are mistreated due to their religion or religious belief.
According to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it is illegal for an employer, employment agency, or a union to practice employment discrimination based on national origin, sex, or religion. Religion, in this case, includes both traditional organized religions and new and uncommon ones.
If you feel you have been victimized at the workplace because of your religion, a discrimination lawyer can help you.
What Constitutes Religious Workplace Discrimination?
Religious discrimination cases in the workplace include instances where an employee is discriminated against when it comes to firing, hiring, promotion or other terms of employment due to their religion.
Georgia employment law protects employees from participating or not participating in a religious activity as an employment condition. For instance, your employer can’t force you to go for evening religious prayers to keep your job.
The Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits religious discrimination. However, the law only applies to public employers with 15 or more employees.
The law prohibits employers from treating their employees differently because they are married or associated with a person of a particular religion. It is also illegal to discriminate against employees that don’t belong or share a specific belief system.
Federal laws prohibit employers from denying their employees requested reasonable accommodation based on their religious practices if the accommodation doesn’t burden the business. For example, an employer shouldn’t deny a Christian employee a requested schedule change to attend church services on Easter.
Other religious practices that may require accommodation include:
- Religious attire
- Specific hairstyles
- Head coverings
- Religious holiday observances
The law also prohibits employers from harassing employees due to their religion. Some activities that constitute harassment include:
- Making offensive remarks based on the person’s religious practices or beliefs
- Forcing one’s religious beliefs or practices on another
However, for religious-based harassment to count in court, it should be severe and frequent such that it leads to a hostile work environment. Moreover, the harasser doesn’t have to be the immediate employer. It can be a supervisor, a client, customer, or a co-worker. Religious discrimination isn’t the same as national origin discrimination or racial discrimination, although it might seem they’re related.
Are There Organizations Exempted From Religion Discrimination Provisions?
Yes. Religious education institutions and organizations are exempted from notable religious discrimination provisions. For example, religious organizations are allowed to give employment preference to employees of their religion.
On the other hand, church ministers and clergy are prohibited from bringing religious discrimination claims under the federal discrimination law.
How to File a Religion Discrimination Lawsuit in Georgia
If you live in Atlanta, Georgia, and intend to file a religious discrimination lawsuit based on federal law, consult your lawyer or your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which covers federal employment laws, you might have a case.
The office will carry out investigations and on completion, grant you a notice of right to sue.
How Can a Religious Discrimination Attorney Help?
Employment lawyers that specialize in employment law and religious discrimination cases can help you file a religious discrimination lawsuit.
Discrimination lawyers can also review your case and advise you on the best course of action to take to ensure your legal issues are resolved. Get in touch with the law firm HKM Employment Attorneys, where we can provide legal advice related to your religious discrimination claim. We represent clients from Atlanta, DeKalb, Decatur, Alpharetta and all over Fulton County.