While discriminating against an employee based on their religion or faith is unlawful, employers regularly engage in such acts. Whether they know they are violating the law or not, any employee has the right to put that harassment and discrimination to an immediate end. By working with a St. Louis attorney, you may be able to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit if your employer has violated federal or state laws, both of which protect religious freedom at work. You do not have to work in a hostile environment and let your wrongful termination go silently.
Common Examples of Religious Discrimination
Under the Missouri Human Rights act, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in the following ways because of an employee’s religious beliefs:
- Not hire or promote;
- Refuse to provide equal pay or earned raises;
- Refuse benefits;
- Make unfavorable transfers;
- Make reasonable accommodations for the employee’s religion;
- Prohibit religious expression;
- Force an employee to participate in a religious event or force an employee not to participate in a religious event; and
If an employer engages in harassment, they can be sued for workplace discrimination. Additionally, an employer can be sued if they fail to make a reasonable effort to prevent workplace harassment based on an employee’s religion. Examples of harassment include foul language, racial slurs, unfavorable treatment, intimidation, exclusion, mockery, physical or sexual assault, and belittling.
Making Reasonable Accommodations
Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for the religious practices of their employees. A reasonable accommodation, for example, would be to allow a male Muslim or Orthodox Jewish employee to have a beard/sideburns or to wear a turbine/yarmulke when facial hair and headwear are otherwise prohibited. When an accommodation would cause undue hardship, however, the employer is not obligated to provide it.
Do Missouri’s Anti-Discrimination Laws Ever Not Apply to an Employer?
While the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion in almost all scenarios, there are a few in which it does not apply:
- Employers who have fewer than six employees; or
- Corporations and associations that are fully owned and operated by “religious or sectarian groups that that require all its employees to be a member of the religion or sect.”
Additionally, sometimes an employee feels like his or her religious beliefs and practices are violated when asked to perform certain duties, such as getting vaccines. Employers do not have to abide by each employee’s religious practices when prohibiting religious expression when it poses an undue hardship on the employer. A federal appeals court ruled that an employer who fired an employee who refused to get a vaccine did not violate anti discrimination laws, according to Reuters.
A St. Louis Attorney is Here to Help Today
If you have experienced workplace discrimination or harassment because of your religious beliefs or practice, you need to contact a St. Louis, Missouri attorney at once. Call the religious discrimination attorneys of HKM Employment Attorneys today for immediate assistance.