Could business cliches lead to religious discrimination?
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Could business cliches lead to religious discrimination?

by | Sep 13, 2017 | Employment Law, Firm News |

As a religious individual, your beliefs may play a significant role in various areas of your life. From the way you dress to the manner in which you conduct yourself in different settings, your religious teachings likely guide you daily. Though you may take comfort in your beliefs, you could also fear the potential for differential treatment due to your religion.

In particular, you may worry about how your employer or coworkers may treat you at your place of employment. Under the Civil Rights Acts, you have protection from unfair treatment based on your religion when it comes to employment, as long as the business meets certain stipulations. Still, you may wonder how your religious dress may come across while working.

Do you have to dress to impress?

Though you may have heard that employers like their workers to dress to impress, your religious beliefs may impact what type of attire you find appropriate and impressive. Some religions have certain details that impact the type of garb a person may wear, and in most cases, an employer cannot make you change your attire or prevent you from wearing clothing or accessories that associate with your religious beliefs. However, if a person wears certain attire out of fashion preferences rather than religious association, an employer could impose dress code restrictions.

Is the customer always right?

Another impact religious attire can have relates to its signaling to other individuals that you hold particular beliefs. Many people recognize individuals of the Muslim faith due to hijabs or Christians due to crosses. Various other religions also have easily recognizable garb, and though it may act as a symbol of your faith, you may also worry that it could cause other people to immediately treat you differently.

When it comes to customers at your place of employment, you may come across individuals who do not wish to obtain your assistance or service simply based on your religious attire. If a customer speaks to your employer about this type of scenario, you may worry that your boss will side with the customer. However, if an employer prevents you from carrying out your work-related duties due to discriminatory preferences of a customer, that action violates the Civil Rights Act.

Enforcing your rights

If you feel that your employer has taken discriminatory action against you due to your religious attire or other aspects of your religious beliefs, you may wonder how to address the situation. If the outcomes of the discrimination have considerably impacted your ability to work, you may have cause to take legal action. Gaining information on your rights and options may help you with such an endeavor.