Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
Laws on both the federal and state levels prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because of their religious beliefs or practices. Employers may not base any employment decisions on religious reasons or interfere with an employee’s right to free expression of religion. Furthermore, employees who suffer religious discrimination also experience harassment or a hostile work environment as a result of their religion. Employers must do what they can to ensure that all employees are free from such unlawful harassment in the workplace.
If you have suffered unlawful discrimination or harassment because of your religion, you should contact a Colorado employment law attorney immediately for help. The team of attorneys at HKM has nearly four decades of combined experience handling all types of employment law cases, including discrimination claims. We can help you fight for your right to be free from religious discrimination at work.
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Making Accommodations for a Person’s Religious Practices
State and federal laws prohibit an employer from basing employment decisions such as hiring, job assignment, promotions, pay increases, discipline, or termination on an employee’s religion. However, the laws go even further and require that an employer reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices or beliefs. Such accommodations may include:
- Flexible shifts or scheduling to accommodate for religious observances
- Voluntary shift swaps or additional time off (with or without pay) for religious practice
- Additional or flexible break time to allow for prayer
- Modifications or exceptions to a company dress policy to allow employees to wear religious garments, head coverings, or long skirts
- Modifications or exceptions to a company grooming policy to allow an employee to have a certain kind of hairstyle, facial hair, or body hair
If you have requested a reasonable religious accommodation and your request was denied, you may have a case for religious discrimination. Consult with an employment attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a potential case.
Employer must not approve every accommodation request, however, but only requests that are reasonable and do not create undue hardship for the company. Furthermore, dress or grooming requests may be denied if they might cause health or safety concerns for employees. If you are an employer facing accusations of religious discrimination because you denied an accommodation, you should also consult an attorney at HKM to help you defend against unwarranted or unfounded claims.
Each religious discrimination case is evaluated on a case by case basis, and our experienced attorneys know how to analyze the facts of your particular case and apply the relevant laws. We have extensive experience in representing both sides of employment discrimination cases and we will fight for the best outcome for you no matter what side of the case you are on.
To schedule a private consultation for review of your religious discrimination claim, contact a Colorado employment law attorney today.