In the United States, every person is free and equal. No one can be discriminated against on account of his or her religion or religious practices. You have a right to hold religious beliefs and practice them within the law.
If your employer has treated you differently because of your religion or has treated you unfairly solely on the basis of your religion, you may have a claim for religious discrimination. Under the Kansas Acts Against Discrimination statutes, employees are entitled to freedom from a work environment in which their religious beliefs are subjected to undue comments or discrimination.
Federal law also imposes an obligation on your employer to end any sort of religious discrimination against you by your co-workers or anyone over whom he or she has control. These laws are enforced through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
You should not be made to suffer because of your religious practices. If your employer discriminates against you on account of your religion, you can report it to the Kansas City EEOC office. You may also be entitled to file a lawsuit against your employer seeking compensation for the damages you suffered as a result.
What Constitutes Religious Discrimination?
Under the Kansas statutes and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, you are entitled to be free from discrimination on the basis of your religion. Your employer is legally prohibited from doing any of the following:
- Hiring or refusing to hire employees because of religious beliefs.
- Terminating employment on the basis of religion.
- Making, printing, or circulating any policy or statement that limits the right to freedom of religion or discriminates on that basis.
- Instituting different compensation schedules on the basis of religion.
- Failing to put an end to any religious discrimination or harassment in the workplace even after seeing it or being notified of it.
- Limiting, classifying, or segregating employees on the basis of religion.
- Forcing employee to participate in or not participate in any religious activity as a condition of employment.
- Failing to make reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious beliefs or practices.
One of the principal duties of employees under the law is the duty to make reasonable accommodation for employee’s religious beliefs.
Reasonable accommodation means an exception or special consideration for an employee. In this context, it means allowing you the best environment to work in without denying you the right to practice your religion.
It could include allowing you to get off work early to observe a religious ceremony such as prayer. It could also include allowing you an exception from the workplace dress code so that you can wear religious apparel like a headscarf.
Your employer’s duty only extends to reasonable accommodation, though. He or she is not obligated to make reasonable accommodation for you with respect to religious practices that are either disruptive or unreasonable.
Your employer can also plead undue hardship if the cost of accommodating your religious practices would seriously inhibit the work process. For instance, if letting you go for your religious ceremony would cause a lack of necessary staff, your employer could deny you leave on account of undue hardship.
Have Questions? Contact a Religious Discrimination Employment Lawyer in Kansas City
If you believe you were denied a job or subjected to harassment at your current place of employment on the basis of your religious beliefs, contact HKM Employment Attorneys.