Religious discrimination and requests for accommodations

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2022 | workplace discrimination | 0 comments

Texas employers must follow federal labor laws and protect their employees from workplace discrimination. The protection includes issues related to religion. United States federal law prohibits companies from making personnel decisions based on an employee’s religious beliefs, as noted on the EEOC.gov website.

Managers may not consider hiring or promoting an applicant over others because the individual belongs to a shared or preferred religious denomination. If a company must change its operations, management may not choose to lay off employees when their religious practices conflict with new work schedules.

Signs of religious discrimination in the workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits segregating employees from coworkers or customers because of their religion. Supervisors may not assign duties so that customers avoid contact with employees who dress or groom themselves according to their religious standards.

Harassment includes making “jokes” or offensive comments toward an employee’s religion or beliefs. Whether expressed by coworkers or clients, employees may report any offending behavior to their supervisors. Managers owe a duty to prevent employees from harassing each other. Failing to correct the behavior may create a hostile work environment.

Employee rights and reasonable accommodations

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers may request reasonable accommodations or an adjustment to their schedule to practice their religion. Employees may ask for days off or to take breaks to meet their religious obligations. Workers may also ask to change tasks or reassign to another position to avoid conflicts with their beliefs.

Federal labor law extends to traditional organized religions and also includes moral or ethical beliefs. If an employee experiences discrimination due to his or her beliefs or religion, a legal action could bring relief.