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Your right to religious freedom in the workplace

In today's political and social climate, it is increasingly more common to hear of people facing difficulties and harassment because of religious views. Unfortunately, this occasionally carries over into the workplace, where employees may find that they are targets of verbal abuse, inappropriate jokes and other offensive behavior simply because of their faith.

If you face any type of unfair treatment in your Texas workplace, you have the right to speak up. Employees are accountable for their actions, and employers can be liable for allowing the continuation of a hostile work environment. Religious discrimination may have you feeling intimidated and overwhelmed, but you do not have to face it alone.

How do you know if you are a victim?

Religious discrimination comes in many forms, and in the workplace, you may experience any of the following:

  • Inappropriate questions or comments regarding religious practices
  • Jokes that have negative connotations about your religion
  • Exclusion from group projects or meetings
  • Rejection for a well-deserved promotion
  • Comments and snide remarks about your faith
  • Harassment because of your spouse's religion
  • Denial of reasonable accommodations for religious practices
  • Exposure to any type of unfair practices or hostile environment

The law requires that employers reasonably accommodate employees' religious views. By allowing or actively engaging in discriminatory practices or harassment of any kind, the employer, company or other corporate entity may be financially liable for damages.

Victims of religious discrimination in the workplace are often intimidated by their situation and unsure of what to do next. Despite your fears or any threats from your employer or co-workers, you have the right to report mistreatment without fear of retaliation or further harassment.

The next step for discrimination victims

Every worker has the right to a work environment that is free from harassment and mistreatment. You can protect your right to a safe and accommodating workplace by reaching out to a lawyer with experience in employee rights and labor laws. With the appropriate legal help, you may be able to secure damages and injunctive relief for the unfair treatment you experienced.

Any charge of discrimination or harassment must go through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is normally the step before filing a lawsuit. You have 180 days from the incident to file a claim, so you would be wise to take quick action to protect your rights and entitlements.

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