The Rise of Employee Religious Discrimination Claims
In the Law360 article, Barbara Hoey discusses Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the rise in the number of workplace religious discrimination claims. Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin and religion, and while the concept of employers accommodating an employee’s religion and beliefs seems simple, application can be tricky.
Employers have obligations they must meet in order to avoid a discrimination claim. First, an employer has to determine whether the employee belongs to a religion or has a “sincerely held” religious belief. The law then requires the employer to accommodate that belief, unless an employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate “without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.”
The rise of social activism related to the current presidential administration means that religious discrimination claims are not going to decrease any time soon. Potential accommodations can include time off due to religious observance, modification of required uniforms or dress codes and special food requests at company-sponsored events.
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