Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Religious discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under both state and federal anti-discrimination legislation. Religious discrimination occurs when a worker has been deliberately discriminated against in some way solely because of their religious affiliation.

Examples of religious discrimination include any of the following, as long as there is no other reason except for affiliation to a particular religion:

  • fired simply because of one’s religion;
  • not being hired;
  • not paid the same wage as co-workers doing the same job
  • not paid the correct overtime rate;
  • not being offered overtime like other co-workers;
  • not given the opportunity for promotion;
  • constant harassment or abuse from co-workers, supervisors or employer;

Discriminating against an employee solely because of the religion they are affiliated to is illegal under both federal and equivalent state legislation. The federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, is the main anti-discrimination legislation relevant to religious discrimination. Most states have similar laws.

If you believe that you have suffered religious discrimination in your workplace, you have the right to make a complaint with either the federal agency that oversees cases of discrimination or the equivalent state agency in your state. The federal agency is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). You will need to provide evidence that you have been discriminated against because of your religion.

If the agency you have filed a complaint with cannot resolve the issue, then you may then have the opportunity to file a lawsuit through the civil court against your employer. You can seek financial compensation with the help of an employment law attorney.

Here are more resources for religious discrimination: