All Oregon workers have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination of any kind. Unfortunately, not all employers and co-workers acknowledge these rights, and you may experience mistreatment from those who employ you or work with you. Religion is a common reason for discrimination and harassment.
You may not be sure that what you are experiencing qualifies as religious discrimination. It may be helpful for you to learn more about what qualifies as discriminatory treatment and how you can protect your rights. If you are a victim, you have the right to fight back and hold your employer accountable for a hostile work environment.
Your religion, your right to work
According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, workers should not experience any type of discrimination in the workplace because of religion. This means that your faith practice cannot influence factors such as your firing, hiring or the terms of your job. If you believe that your personal beliefs are negatively affecting your work in any way, it may be beneficial for you to understand the following:
- Harassment can sometimes be verbal. This can include negative statements, harassment comments and verbally abusive comments about your religion.
- In some cases, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees' religious practices, such as allowing for prayer time during the workday.
- Employees who experience any type of discrimination have the right to report it immediately, whether that is to the supervisor or the next highest authority.
You may think that you will simply have to put up with discriminatory treatment in order to keep your job or your position. This is not the case -- you deserve a positive resolution to your current concerns and a workplace free from mistreatment. In some cases, it may be appropriate for victims of religious discrimination to take legal action.
What should you do first?
One of the first things you can do after experiencing discrimination at work is to seek legal help. You may have questions about your rights, and you may not feel certain about whether or not you have a case. It can be helpful to seek an evaluation and explanation of the specific options available to you.
Victims of religious discrimination often feel overwhelmed and confused, but you do not have to deal with your unfortunate circumstances alone. You may find benefit in seeking the help of an experienced attorney in order to put a stop to the mistreatment and fight for a favorable outcome.