Under the Constitution of the United States, each of us enjoys the religious freedom to believe in whatever we wish and to practice whichever religion we wish. Therefore, it’s not surprising that both federal and state law prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Texas Labor Code Chapter 21, Texas employers may not discriminate against employees or job applicants throughout the employment cycle on the basis of religion. This includes hiring, firing, promoting, training, compensating, transferring, or laying off an employee.
Under Title VII, religions do not need to be organized religions such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam to be covered. Rather, the law covers all religious affiliations, including atheists and agnostics. Per the Texas Labor Code, employers must also allow employees to take off one day per week for a regular religious service.
Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs. The only exception to this is if doing so would lead to undue hardship. So, for instance, an employee should be able to work Sundays instead of Saturdays if a business is open on both days. However, if a business is only open one day a week and it falls on an employee’s observed Sabbath, it would likely create an undue hardship to open another day just for the employee to come in.
Employers are also precluded from prohibiting religious garb or grooming practices, unless providing for an accommodation would result in safety concerns or undue hardship. For example, a business may have a no hat or scarf policy, but a yarmulke or hijab would need to be allowed. When an employer fails to follow the law and provide a reasonable accommodation, you can take legal action.
Employees may not be harassed or experience poor treatment on the basis of their religion. Religious harassment, such as mocking religious practices or telling jokes, is also prohibited under the law. This means that you cannot be harassed for your religion in the workplace. However, in order for you to be able to bring a claim for religious harassment, it must be severe or pervasive enough to interfere with your work conditions or your ability to do your job.
And finally, your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you for asking for a reasonable accommodation or for bringing an action for religious discrimination.
The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Dallas Who Have Suffered Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
Your place of work should be one of equity and lawfulness. You shouldn’t be mistreated on the basis of your religious beliefs. If you believe that you have endured religious discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to speak with a qualified Texas employment law attorney as soon as possible.
The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough will help fight for your rights. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.