Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) protect employees from religious discrimination in the workplace. These laws guarantee the right to practice officially recognized religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Title VII and the PHRA also preserve in other less-recognized — but sincerely held and practiced — religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
HKM Employment Attorneys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has garnered numerous awards in the service and protection of employee rights. HKM Employment Attorneys has experience contending with companies large and small in matters of employment discrimination. If you need legal help with religious discrimination in the workplace, contact us today for immediate assistance.
Religious Discrimination, Harassment, and Segregation
Between Title VII and the PHRA, there are numerous legal protections concerning religion and religious practices. For example, employers are barred from making employment decisions such as hiring, firing, or scheduling solely based on religion. That type of conduct constitutes unlawful employment discrimination.
Title VII and the PHRA also define unlawful religious harassment in the workplace. To qualify as workplace harassment, there must be a consistent pattern of pervasive abuse or offensive conduct. Offhand comments or erratic behavior do not generally constitute a hostile work environment from a legal standpoint.
It is also unlawful under Title VII and the PHRA for an employer to segregate work functions based on religion. Stated otherwise, employers cannot assign employees to certain sites or roles merely based on their religion, even in the face of actual or potential client demands.
Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Purpose
Title VII and the PHRA impose a duty on employers to provide reasonable accommodations for religion in the workplace. Unless accommodation would result in undue burden or cost, employers must allow their employees to practice religion. The accommodation must be reasonable in nature.
Examples of reasonable accommodations for religious practices may include but are not limited to:
- Schedule adjustments;
- Voluntary shift exchanges;
- Temporary job reassignments; and
- Employment policy modifications.
Title VII and the PHRA also protect an employee’s religious beliefs concerning attire and appearance. If a particular approach is ingrained in the employee’s religion, it can qualify as a reasonable accommodation.
Examples of reasonable accommodations for religious attire and appearance may include but are not limited to:
- Wearing traditional garments, such as the Amish custom of wearing plain clothing;
- Donning particular head coverings, such as the Jewish tradition of wearing a yarmulke; or
- Observing specific hair or beard styles, such as the Sikhism belief of natural hair growth.
Speak with a Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Today
If you were the victim of religious discrimination in a Pennsylvania workplace, it can be highly favorable to speak with an accomplished employment attorney. HKM Employment Attorneys have experience representing employees in legal disputes concerning unlawful employment discrimination. If you need legal help with religious discrimination in the workplace, contact us today for an initial consultation.