Basics of religious freedom in the workplace

As we noted in a prior post, the July jobs report was a promising sign of economic activity. More than 250,000 jobs were created last month, and the number was substantially more than the 180,000 jobs that were expected. Indeed, it is a positive sign when people are going to work. However, the possibility of these employees being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs is still real.

After all, there may be many employees (especially those who work in small businesses) who may not know how to deal with specific requests surrounding religious dress or customs. This post will provide some insight to new employees.

Rights surrounding religious freedom in the workplace are governed by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their religion. Essentially, employers are prohibited from disallowing specific garments from being worn when they are required by an employee’s religion. Additionally, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations that will allow the employee to express their religious beliefs while still carrying out the duties of their position. A common example of this is being allowed time to pray during the day, as well as to being allowed to take time off for religious holidays.

We understand that it is important for new employees to make a good impression , and that it may be difficult to speak up about one’s religious rights; especially when a person’s religion may not be popular. But if you have questions about your religious rights in the workplace, an experienced employment law attorney can help.


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