YOUR RIGHTS ARE
Learn what YOU can do to FIGHT BACK!
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion. These laws protect the God-given individual rights of Americans from prevalent and subtle discrimination by government and private entities. Title VII imposes a duty on an employer to accommodate an employee or prospective employee’ religious practices with some exceptions.
An accommodation is appropriate under Title VII when an employee informs their employer that the employee has a sincerely held religious belief that precludes them from complying with the employer’s policy. For an employer to question an employee’s assertion, the employer must have an objective basis for doubting either (1) the religious nature or (2) the sincerity of the stated religious belief. In such circumstances employers can make a limited factual inquiry to verify the legitimacy of the accommodation request. This inquiry is limited to asking what the employee believes, why they believe it, and how it affects their life decisions.
What an employer cannot question is the validity of the asserted religious belief, nor the interpretation of cited religious scriptures or documents. The employer cannot question why the employee objects to the employer's policies (mandates) when other members of the employee's church or religious organization have no objection.
SHOULD YOU CONSIDER LEGAL COUNSEL?
In our experience, employers of all sizes will attempt to obtain additional information that they have no justification to obtain with regards to an employee's beliefs, background and even medical conditions. In other words, employers will overreach in making it seem like the employee must provide them with everything the employer asks the employee.
An attorney will be able to advise an employee on what information does not need to be disclosed to the employer and protect the employee's rights. An attorney may also be able to communicate with the employer and tell them they are not entitled to obtain the private information they are requesting.
Why is that important?
Oftentimes, the employer will use information provided by the employee to deny an accommodation request.
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