- posted: May 27, 2014
Religious Discrimination in the Workplace is Illegal
Both Ohio and federal law make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals when hiring and firing, as well as in the work environment because of a person's religion. In addition, employers may not take an adverse employment action against an employee who files a complaint of discrimination with the EEOC or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Under employment discrimination law, employers must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee or prospective employee's religious practices. Religious accommodations often include flexible scheduling, swapping assignments, or even lateral transfers. They also involve allowing certain dress or grooming practices that are based on religious values.
However, if accommodating an employee's religious practice will cause the employer an undue hardship, the employer may refuse to do so. Examples of undue hardship include:
Risks to workplace safety
Significant decreases in workplace efficiency
Unfair infringement upon the rights of other employees
Disproportionate shifts of the work burden to others
In a religious discrimination lawsuit, an employee who has been discriminated against may recover lost wages, compensatory damages, attorney fees, and in some situations, punitive damages.
Making a claim for religious discrimination in employment involves gathering evidence to show bad treatment and, in some instances, an employer's failure to accommodate the employee's religious practice. Contact an experienced Ohio employment law attorney if you think an employer has discriminated against you.