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What constitutes religious discrimination?

Whether you adhere to a strict set of religious beliefs, if you consider yourself spiritual but not religious or if you do not believe in any higher power, your beliefs are important to you. It can feel like an emotional and intellectual attack if other people infringe on your beliefs. Some Florida residents experience significant emotional trauma or financial hardship if their religious beliefs are discriminated against at work or while applying for jobs.

People’s religious and spiritual beliefs are protected by employment law, explains the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There are many ways employers or co-workers can violate religious discrimination laws and create a hostile or offensive work environment to those of certain faiths. What exactly is religious discrimination, you may wonder? The following examples can help explain:

  • Making an adverse decision, such as firing, demoting or not hiring someone, solely based on his or her religious beliefs
  • Allowing people to make offensive remarks about another worker’s religion
  • Not making reasonable accommodations to respect a staff member’s religious holidays, food restrictions, clothing, prayers, morals and ethics or other practices
  • Segregating employees based on their religious beliefs

Religion and spirituality can be sensitive topics for many people, especially when those of certain faiths have been discriminated against for many years. Therefore, employers are required to ensure their staff members’ beliefs are not infringed upon in a way that does not create an undue hardship for the company. This can be an especially complex topic; therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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