You have protections against discrimination.
You have the right to protections against discrimination based on your religion (or lack of religious belief). The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
Not only is your employer not allowed to discriminate against you based on your religion, but your employer is also not allowed to segregate you based on religion, such as assigning you to non-customer service positions because of an actual or feared negative customer reaction. You have the right to reasonable religious accommodations, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business. This means that your employer may be required to make adjustments to the workplace that would allow you to practice your religion, such as flexible schedules, shift substitutions, or exceptions to dress and grooming rules.
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Employment discrimination may also occur when an employer’s seemingly fair policies or practices have a significant negative impact on people because of their religion without demonstrating the policies or practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity. And discrimination can occur when you and the person who discriminated against you share a protected characteristic like religion.
It is, however, not unlawful for an employer to hire and employ employees based on religion in certain instances where religion is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. Certain religious organizations that are federal contractors may also be exempt from some nondiscrimination and affirmative action obligations. Additionally, religious organizations may have an affirmative defense to claims by certain workers under the “ministerial exception” from nondiscrimination laws.
You have the right to file a complaint or a Charge of Discrimination, participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit, engage in any protected employment opportunity (EEO) activity, or oppose harassment or discrimination without being retaliated against by your employer.
You generally have a right to protection from discrimination regardless of your immigration status, although, in some cases, immigration status may limit the remedies that you’ll be able to obtain.
What this means for you
Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you because of:
- your sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs,
- marriage or association with an individual of a particular religion, or
- dress or grooming practices you follow for religious reasons.
Examples of discrimination
In general, this means that you cannot be:
- rejected for a job or promotion,
- given lesser assignments,
- forced to take leave, or
- otherwise disciplined
because of your religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.