Religious freedom is a founding principle of America. It is protected in the Constitution in Article I of the Bill of Rights. Both federal and Texas laws prohibit employment discrimination based on religion. Religious discrimination takes many different forms. Employers cannot hire, fire, conduct layoffs, train, compensate, transfer, or promote workers based on their religion. Employees should not be treated differently or harassed based on their religion. The Dallas religious discrimination lawyers at Rob Wiley P.C. can help you hold your employer accountable for violating your rights.Religious Discrimination
Your employer should not treat you adversely due to your religious beliefs with regard to any aspect of employment. Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act are laws that prohibit Texas employers from discriminating against job applicants or employees due to their religion when hiring, firing, or promoting them, or with regard to any other terms or conditions of employment. Under Title VII, religion includes every aspect of religious practice or observance, as well as belief. The religion need not be a traditional and organized religion like Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. The law covers all religious and spiritual affiliations, so long as the employee’s beliefs are sincerely held. Title VII also protects atheists and agnostics.
The Texas Labor Code mirrors the protections provided by Title VII. However, it also adds an express protection that mandates that retail employers respect an employee’s request to take off one day per week for a regular worship service.Reasonable Accommodations
Employers are required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. Employers are limited in their right to schedule work that conflicts with an employee’s religious obligations. Employers must allow reasonable accommodations unless allowing them would cause an undue hardship. A religious discrimination attorney at our Dallas firm can help an employee seek an accommodation.
Similarly, an employer may not prohibit religious dress or grooming practices, except when providing the accommodation would cause safety problems or an undue hardship. For example, they may need to allow an alteration to the dress code for a religious dress, such as a hijab or yarmulke. Wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair is sometimes a religious practice, such as with Sikhs who wear beards and their hair uncut.
If you need an accommodation for religious reasons, you should contact an employment lawyer. A religious discrimination lawyer can let the employer know that you need the accommodation for religious reasons. This can include an interactive process to talk about your request. If the employer fails to follow the law and grant a religious accommodation, you can take legal action.Religious Harassment
One form of religious discrimination is religious harassment. You are allowed to express your religion. Your employer should protect you from being harassed for that religious expression. In order to be actionable, religious harassment needs to be severe or pervasive enough to interfere with your working conditions or your capacity to handle your job. Religious harassment often takes the form of hurtful practical jokes, belittling the employee’s beliefs, or mocking the employee’s religious practices.
A Dallas religious discrimination attorney can help you make a complaint to your employer, and take legal action if the employer fails to fix the situation and stop the harassment.Retaliation
Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for engaging in a protected activity, such as asking in good faith for a reasonable accommodation. It is also a protected activity to support another employee’s claim of religious discrimination or to file a charge of discrimination regarding your employer with the EEOC.Consult an Experienced Religious Discrimination Lawyer in Dallas
It can be challenging to be a victim of religious discrimination or harassment in a Texas workplace. You may be able to recover damages for your losses. If you have suffered from religious discrimination on the job, you should consult our experienced employment attorneys. Call us at (214) 528-6500 or complete our online form.