Religious freedom is one of the most important rights in the United States. This right is upheld in the First Amendment to the Constitution and has been defended by the courts time and again. However, many workers are still persecuted or discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. Employees should be informed of their rights when it comes to religion in the workplace. This blog post will discuss some of the protections that exist for religious employees, as well as if an employer can question employees' religious beliefs.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
While the First Amendment protects employees from religious discrimination, there are still many instances where workers are harassed or mistreated because of their faith. In order to combat this, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars employers from discriminating against their employees based on their religious beliefs.
This includes refusing to hire someone because of their religion, as well as firing or demoting an employee because of their beliefs. Additionally, employers should make accommodations for religious employees when necessary. For example, many religious holidays are not accounted for in traditional work holiday calendars. This means that if an employee needs to take time off for a religious holiday, the employer must allow them to do so without penalty.
Questioning Religious Beliefs
There are some instances where an employer may question an employee about their religious beliefs. For example, if an employee requests a religious accommodation, the employer may ask about the specifics of their beliefs in order to determine if the accommodation is necessary.
However, an employer should never require an employee to disclose more information than is necessary. For example, an employer should only ask an employee about their religious views and practices when it is relevant to their job duties.
Seeking Legal Help
If you are facing discrimination because of your religious beliefs, it is important to speak up. Consider talking to your employer about the situation or contacting a lawyer who specializes in employment law. Remember, you have rights when it comes to your religion and beliefs in the workplace, and there are legal avenues to protect yourself from discrimination.
If you are facing religious-based discrimination, contact the team at Michel | King today for a consultation.