When you go to work, you have the right to do your job without fear that you will experience mistreatment or any type of harassment. Unfortunately, many North Carolina workers do find that they are subjected to unfair actions while at work. This type of treatment can be on the basis of factors that can include gender, disability and even religious practice. Religious discrimination is illegal, unfair and unacceptable.
It is not always immediately clear that what someone is experiencing counts as religious discrimination. You could be a victim of this type of discriminatory treatment, yet you may be uncertain whether what you are going through qualifies. It is helpful to understand what types of treatment could be violating your rights and the steps you can take to make it stop and shield your interests.
Understanding the issue of religious discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protects individuals against religious discrimination, even if they are not part of a major organized religion. This protection extends to any closely held and sincere moral or ethical belief of an employee. This means that employees should be able to wear religious dress, engage in prayer, celebrate religiously significant holidays and adhere to dietary restrictions without fear of repercussions in his or her employment. Additionally, employers should also respect atheism or a lack of religious practice.
There is a variety of behaviors that count as religious discrimination in the workplace. This includes harassing or punishing an employee for not participating in a religious practice or holiday celebration associated with religious beliefs. It is also considered discrimination if an employer refuses to allow an employee to keep certain practices while at work, such as participating in prayer. Refusal to accommodate, punishing workers, firing an employee or engaging in other types of unfair treatment may all be considered religious discrimination.
Pursuing justice and fighting for your rights
As an employee, you do not have to tolerate unfair behavior from your employer or others in your workplace on the basis of your religious beliefs. If you are unsure of what your rights are or how you can speak out after experiencing this type of mistreatment, you may benefit from seeking guidance from a legal professional. There are options available to you that will allow you to seek justice through compensation and damages for your emotional trauma.