What is meant by religious discrimination?
In religious discrimination cases, Title VII requires an employer to reasonably accommodate persons within a protected class. The duty generally reflects the long-standing principle that freedom of religion is a fundamental right. The statute provides that: The term ‘religion’ includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance and practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business. The terms “religious observance and practice” and “reasonable accommodation” are not defined in the statute. The term “religious observance and practice” has been broadly interpreted to encompass sincere and meaningful beliefs outside of conventional religious convictions, as well as the practices followed in carrying out such beliefs. The term “reasonable accommodation” has been narrowly construed by the courts.
What accommodation is reasonable?
Employers are not required to accept the specific accommodation advanced by the employee. Nor must the employee be accommodated in a manner to spare him all costs. Both the provision of unpaid leave and that of limited paid leave have thus been held to be sufficient accommodations to cover absences attributable to religious observance. Furthermore, employers may be excused from accommodations on the ground of “undue hardship.” An accommodation which would require “more than a de minimis cost” to the employer generally constitutes an undue hardship. If you have asked for an accommodation and your employer has refused or retaliated against you because you asked for it, then you may have an actionable cause of action.
If you believe that your employer has treated you wrongly, call me at (912) 244-3999 to schedule an initial consultation so we can sit down and talk about the facts of your case and so that I can give you my opinion about whether or not you have a case.