When you practice your religion, there are rights that you hold within most workplaces, and if those rights are denied, then it is considered religious discrimination. Some examples of that would be:
Needing accommodations to practice your religion but you are denied
There is a balance in this statement. To be provided with an accommodation (not working on a particular religious day, wearing of specific religious garments…) you must formally request it from your employer. They must honor the request as long as it does not cause undue hardship for the employer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has defined an undue hardship to mean “anything more than regular administrative costs, anything that reduces workplace efficiency or impairs workplace safety, anything infringing on other employees’ job rights or causes those said employees’ to carry the accommodated employee’s share of burdensome work, or if the proposed accommodation conflicts with another law or regulation.”
Are fired, are not hired, will not be considered for a position in front of customers
There is always a chance that an employer may not hire you, but it cannot be specified because of your religion. Questions about your faith during the interview process are illegal. Again, there can be any number of reasons why a person may be let go from their job or be passed over for a promotion, however, if that reason is their religion then that is an example of discrimination.
Creating a hostile working environment
It is not illegal to tease a person, but if a person’s comments are making you constantly uncomfortable, then you have grounds to go to your manager and form a complaint about a hostile work environment. This can work both ways with religious discrimination; speaking offensively against a religion or obsessively trying to convert a coworker or make them attend a religious function.
Before you find yourself in one of these situations, we always suggest that you get everything documented. If you are asking to switch shifts, or feel that you were overlooked for a position because of your religion, please make sure that you have documented all of your interactions to the best of your ability. It makes a big difference over a he said, she said case. Also, please feel free to call Raynes | Erickson if you think that you have been discriminated against because of your religion. We can help determine if you have a case and what your next steps are.