Some employers are very cautious when it comes to religion in the workplace. Not only do they want to avoid the appearance of mixing faith with business, but they also want to preempt lawsuits. Lawsuits should be prevented on both sides of the spectrum. And it is important for employers and their workers to know the law concerning religion and religious accommodations.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, country of origin, race and color. Such discrimination is prohibited in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring, promotion, benefits, training, job duties, and termination. In addition, an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation for religious practices unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Title VII prohibits retaliation against someone who complains about a discriminatory practice, files a charge, or assists in an investigation of discrimination in any way. Employers with 15 or more employees are required to comply with Title VII.
Religious discrimination involves treating a person unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.