Religious Discrimination Attorneys Columbus Ohio
The Columbus religious discrimination attorneys at The Friedmann Firm understand that your faith may be the most important part of your life and understand you feel strongly about being able to worship according to your beliefs, even during work hours. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of the person’s religion. Religious discrimination involves treating a person differently or unfavorably because of religious beliefs or practices. The law protects both job applicants, as well as current employees. The religious discrimination lawyers at The Friedmann Firm handle cases for employees in Columbus and throughout Ohio.
Both state and federal law provide employees with a legal remedy against the employer for unlawful religious discrimination. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Ohio Revised Code Section 4112.02 prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace. Our Columbus religious discrimination attorneys protect not only people who belong to traditional religions (such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.) but also people who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
The law also protects employees or applicants from discrimination if they do not subscribe to a particular religious view and/or are atheist. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group. It is unlawful for an employer to force an employee to participate (or not participate) in a religious activity as a condition of employment. If you feel you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of your religious beliefs or any of the reasons listed above, consult with a religious discrimination lawyer in Columbus, Ohio today.
Discrimination comes in many different forms, including harassment. Ultimately discrimination is the act of denying an individual any rights, benefits, justice, equitable treatment, or access to facilities that are available to others. Religious discrimination/harassment often occurs in the form of negative comments, disparate or unfavorable treatment, exclusion, isolation, demotion, or termination. Harassment includes making fun of employees or telling them they are violating the companies dress code because they wear religious clothing. If you have encountered any treatment like this at work, you need a Columbus religious discrimination attorney.
Additionally, the law also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of applicants and employees, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operation of the employer’s business. A reasonable religious accommodation is any adjustment to the work environment that will allow the employee to practice his or her religion. Flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, lateral transfers, and exceptions to dress or grooming rules are examples of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs.
Whether a religious accommodation poses an undue hardship on the employer’s business depends on the individual circumstances. Court’s will look at the circumstances on a case-by-case basis, so there is not any clear test to determine whether an accommodation poses an undue hardship. However, courts have found that an accommodation may cause an undue hardship if it:
- Is unnecessarily costly,
- Compromises workplace safety,
- Decreases workplace efficiency,
- Infringes on the rights of other employees,
- Requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work, or
- Violates other employees’ job rights established through a collective bargaining agreement or seniority system.
Common religious accommodations involve schedule changes or leave for religious observations, religious dress, and grooming practices. This might include wearing particular head coverings (such as a Jewish yarmulke or Muslim hijab), or wearing certain hair styles or facial hair (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). This also includes an employee’s observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (such as pants or miniskirts). Our religious discrimination lawyers in Columbus can also request this type of accommodation for you to ensure you are being treated fairly and can properly worship while at work.
To ensure that the employee is protected, the employee should make sure to communicate with the employer of his/her religious accommodations. When an employee or applicant needs a dress or grooming accommodation for religious reasons, he should notify the employer that he needs such an accommodation for religious reasons. If the employer reasonably needs more information, the employer and the employee should engage in an interactive process to discuss the request. If it would not pose an undue hardship, the employer is required by law to grant the accommodation.
Finally, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on religion, or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under Title VII or Ohio laws against discrimination. It is often confusing for an employee to understand the proper steps for ensuring protection under the law, so we encourage any person who may believe he or she is being discriminated against to contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation. If you have been retaliated against for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on religion, call a religious discrimination lawyer in Columbus at The Friedmann Firm today.