In Illinois, it is unlawful to treat an employee differently because of his or her religious beliefs. Religious discrimination in Illinois is covered under the Illinois Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These two laws classify religion as a protected class and they outlaw any discrimination by employers based on religious beliefs.
What is Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination in Illinois occurs when an employee or an applicant for a job experiences negative treatment due to his or her religious beliefs. Under both federal and state laws, an employer cannot discriminate against their employees based on religious beliefs. Such discrimination typically occurs when an employee applies for a job or when they’re being scheduled for working hours.
Companies must not only refrain from discriminating against job applicants, but they must also make reasonable accommodations to employees who have specific religious practices. For example, employees whose religious beliefs don’t allow them to work on Sundays cannot be discriminated against based on their religion. An employer must also make a reasonable effort to accommodate for such an employee missing work on Sunday. However, the employer doesn’t have to undergo undue hardship when making such an accommodation.
Religious discrimination in Illinois extends beyond traditional religions. Ethical and moral beliefs held by an employee are also covered under religious discrimination. Employers cannot discriminate against religious dress, practice, or even grooming needs.
For these protections to extend to an employee, there are several criteria that must be met. These include:
- The employee must clearly explain any religious accommodations that they may need
- Any conflicts between the employee’s job requirements and religious conflicts must be clearly explained
- Employees must also be willing to make reasonable accommodations with their employer in order to avoid any undue hardship for the employer
- The religious beliefs of an employee should be part of a bona fide religion
Filing a Religious Discrimination Claim
When you undergo religious discrimination in Illinois, it can be challenging to figure out a course of action. The fear of retaliation (which is also illegal), as well as the acts of your employer, may cause you to feel intimidated. However, the employment attorneys at HKM can help you pursue the damages you deserve. Any wrongful termination or discrimination at work may qualify you for substantial awards in damages. Contact us today for a consultation.