People searching for a new job or hoping to advance their careers shouldn’t have to worry about unlawful discrimination from their employer or potential employers. Unfortunately, large portions of the population may face discrimination for characteristics that are protected under federal law. Even if they have the education and experience a job requires, employers may refuse to hire them for unrelated reasons.

Workers past a certain age may face age discrimination, while workers of different races and genders may also face discrimination based on those characteristics. Muslims often face religious discrimination in the United States. Muslim women, unfortunately, are particularly susceptible to discrimination during the hiring process for jobs in Missouri and beyond.

Head scarves make identifying Muslim women easy for employers

Unless the employer in a situation is a religious organization, like a church, they cannot require a specific religious affiliation of potential employees. Similarly, they cannot prevent people from other religions from gaining employment.

Sadly, many companies still choose to discriminate based on the religion of potential applicants. While they cannot ask what religion someone belongs to, they might attempt to make small talk prior to an interview, such as inquiring about what church the applicant attends.

For Muslim women, there is often no need for an employer to covertly look into their religion. In most cases, a biased employer will make assumptions based on the way that an applicant is dressed. Female applicants who adhere to the religious practice of covering their heads are easy targets for discrimination. Employers may choose to illegally discriminate against professionals who arrive to an interview wearing Muslim head coverings.

Make a note of discriminatory comments or attitudes during an interview

Losing the opportunity at a new job can be discouraging, particularly if you believe that your rejection came from prejudice or discrimination. If an employer was excited about your qualifications and work history prior to an interview, it is possible that your appearance, rather than your interview performance, impacted their hiring decisions.

You should not have to hide your religion or your culture just to secure a job. Employers have no right to use your religion to cancel out your qualifications for the position.

If an interviewer is instantly taken aback when meeting you or makes comments regarding your attire, that may be indicative of the fact that they did not realize, prior to meeting you, that you were Muslim.

Workers who feel like they lost out on job opportunities because of religious discrimination have a right to hold companies accountable. Although it can be difficult to prove discrimination in the hiring process, it is not impossible.

Bad attitudes, off-color comments and whether any other employees are Muslim are important considerations when determining whether to pursue a potential discrimination lawsuit.