The decision to follow and practice a particular faith or religion in the United States is a foundational right. The country does not subscribe to a national religion or compel conversion from individuals whose religious practices fall outside of the mainstream. Religious freedom is a hallmark of the nation and celebrated in and around Washington, DC.
However, despite the importance of religious freedom in the nation, many men and women face religious discrimination in their lives. Many are subjected to discriminatory practices and attitudes within their own places of employment. When religious discrimination impacts them, it can impact their ability to work and support themselves and their loved ones.
What does religious discrimination look like?
Like other forms of workplace discrimination, religious discrimination can be overt or concealed. A person may face outright hostility from co-workers or superiors due to their religious preferences. They may discover a culture of intolerance in their workspace that makes them uncomfortable and fearful for their safety and their job.
Religious discrimination can also be broad and reflected in the policies of an employer. For example, an employer that mandated that no worker wear head coverings at work that was not based on explicit safety requirements may impose religious discrimination upon individuals for whom head coverings are part of their required religious attire.
What to do in the face of religious discrimination
Facing religious discrimination at work can be upsetting and scary. A worker who needs their job to support their loved ones may have serious concerns about keeping their position and maintaining their income. They may also suffer the negative effects of discrimination in the form of sadness, stress, and anger.
It is always an option for individuals who face discrimination at work to talk to trusted employment law attorneys in their communities. A lawyer who understands local and federal discrimination laws can best advise a discrimination victim on their options for seeking relief. No one path may serve all discrimination victims, and readers of this post are reminded that its contents offer no legal advice.