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How employees are protected against religious discrimination

Texas employers and employees should be aware that religious discrimination in the workplace can take a number of different forms. Furthermore, protection from religious discrimination covers more than just people who belong to major religions such as Christianity, Buddhism or Islam. People who belong to lesser-known religions and those with no religious faith are also protected against discrimination.

If an employee is facing religion-based harassment in the workplace, the employer is obligated to respond. Failing to do so could make the employer liable. Employers also are not permitted to discriminate against a particular religion by not promoting or hiring people of a certain faith. Citing customer preference is not considered an adequate defense. Associational bias is also not permitted. In religious discrimination, this is when a person is discriminated against because of the religion of someone with whom they are in a relationship.

Employers are obliged to attempt reasonable accommodations for people's religions. This may include asking for a certain day off work or making a request to wear a certain type of attire. A request may cause an undue hardship for the employer. For example, an entire staff might want the same day off for religious reasons. However, an employer should still make an effort to compromise if possible. Furthermore, employers are not permitted to retaliate against employees who have asked for a religious accommodation.

Unfortunately, in some cases, employees or employers may be unaware of employee rights and employer responsibilities. An individual who believes they are facing discrimination at work because of their religion, race, gender or for other reasons might want to speak to an attorney. Even if the individual wants to start by trying to solve the problem in the workplace, the attorney may be able to advise them on how they might approach the situation.

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