The federal government has just released new documents meant to help employees
who may have questions concerning employment discrimination – specifically
religious discrimination in the work place. These articles are meant to
provide general guidance. However, if you believe that have suffered any
form of discrimination, it is always a good idea to consult with a dedicated
Georgia employment discrimination attorney right away.
The first document is an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
fact sheet. This sheet sets forth basic information concerning workplace
rights and responsibilities regarding religious dress and grooming under
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
For example, your workplace has an obligation to reasonably accommodate
your religious practices unless doing so would cause an “undue hardship”
to an employer’s business. In some situations an employee’s
religious dress or grooming hasn’t been allowed where it violates
certain workplace security, safety or health concerns. However, the employer
must prove the practice actually poses an undue hardship on its business
operations. Recently, a record setting religious discrimination jury verdict
was awarded to a Muslim man who suffered illegal religious discrimination
based in part on his refusal to shave his beard, which is part of his
religion and culture.
Additionally, the EEOC issued a question and answer document further noting
that an employer may not segregate employees based on religion, permit
harassment of employees based on religion or retaliate against an employee
who requests a religious accommodation or engages in other protected activity
under Title VII.
The EEOC explained “In most instances, employers are required by
federal law to make exceptions to their usual rules or preferences to
permit applicants and employees to observe religious dress and grooming
practices.” Employers likely violate Title VII if they fire or take
other adverse action against an employee for wearing certain items of
clothing, or a particular hairstyle. It is not acceptable for an employer
to discriminate or use as an excuse that the discrimination is in response
to the employer’s customers, clients or other employees objections.
Unfortunately religious discrimination is on the rise. If you have questions
or believe that you may have been subjected to religious discrimination,
please contact the top
Georgia religious discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm immediately to discuss your matter.