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Religious Discrimination

Religious Discrimination in Employment

Discrimination by an employer because of the employee’s religious beliefs is illegal under both Texas and federal law. On this page, our Dallas employment law fim will tell you what you need to know about religious discrimination in the workplace.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits most workplace harassment and discrimination involving race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. As any Dallas employment lawyer can attest, Title VII covers all private employers, as well as both state and local governments and educational institutes, with fifteen or more employees.

Texas state law provides further protection under the Texas Labor Code, Section 21.055. It prohibits any retaliation by an employer against an employee who opposes religious discrimination in the workplace. The employee who has been retaliated against must have participated in “opposition” to the employer’s religious discrimination either: (1) by filing a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency; or (2) by testifying in or assisting in a hearing or investigation.

As a practical matter, this means that no Texas employer may discriminate against any Texas employee in the hiring, the firing, or other terms and conditions of employment due to that employee’s religious beliefs. Additionally, as one of our Dallas employment attorneys may explain, employers must reasonably accommodate those religious practices of each employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer.

Employers are also required to allow employees to engage in religious expression and may not place restrictions on that expression absent comparable restrictions on other forms of expression by other employees.

Examples of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs by an employer include allowing flexible schedules, voluntary substitutions, job reassignments, and lateral transfers.

An experienced Dallas employment attorney will likely tell you that an employer cannot claim an undue hardship if the financial costs to the employer to accommodate the employee’s religious practice is merely administrative in nature.

It should also be noted that payment of union dues cannot be mandated if the employee’s religious practices prohibit such, but an equal payment to an acceptable charitable organization may be required in lieu of the union dues.

For any questions about religious discrimination in employment or for a free consultation, please contact our law office, by filling out the form on this page.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Usage of this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
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