Religious discrimination is as ancient as human history. Even in the earliest civilizations, clashes about faith and belief often resulted in disputes and even wars. Here in the United States, one of the most treasured and important freedoms extended to citizens is the freedom of religion.
You have the right to practice any religion you want and to receive certain accommodations for your religious observances from your employer. For certain Christian denominations, for example, not working on Sunday may be necessary. Employers can usually cooperate with such requirements and can even give workers religious holidays off.
Unfortunately, some employers are less accommodating of faith than others. Religious discrimination on the job is still a danger for modern employees. What religion currently faces the most significant religious discrimination?
Research shows that non-Christians may be at a social disadvantage
Given how many people in America identify as Christian and may even make the claim that the United States is a Christian country, it may not surprise you to learn that non-Christians are at risk of religious discrimination.
Research about social attitudes indicates that Muslims are the most likely to face some degree of discrimination because of their faith. Jewish people are also at somewhat elevated risk for religious discrimination. Some workers can successfully hide their religion, but doing so is not always so easy.
Especially with the trappings of someone’s faith are quite obvious, such as headscarves for Muslim women, employers may discriminate against them because of their faith. Even requests for time off and dietary habits could result in an employer learning about and discriminating against your religious beliefs and practices.
Your freedom of religion protects you from workplace discrimination
Your faith should not affect your ability to do a job or secure a promotion. You should not have to hide your beliefs just to protect your job.
Companies that knowingly discriminate against people of a specific faith violate those people’s basic rights as American citizens. If you suspect that religious discrimination has kept you from getting a promotion or the hostile environment at your job led to your firing, you may be able to take legal action to stand up for yourself.