You can be discriminated against in the workplace for a variety of reasons, but the most common types of discrimination are often connected to a person's age, race, or gender. You might not see news stories about religious discrimination quite as often, but it can and absolutely does happen. If you believe you have been the victim of religious discrimination, keep the following tips in mind:
Your Request Has to Be Sincere and Reasonable
Religious discrimination laws are designed to protect the employee, but in many cases they include language that can protect the employer from frivolous claims. For example, if you first ask your employer for time off for some reason that has nothing to do with your religion and are declined, your employer might have reason to be suspicious if you then come back and change your reason to something related to your religion.
Suddenly declaring that you want Saturday off to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath might not work if you initially told your employer you wanted the day off to go to a party. That is not going to fool anyone. Your request has to be reasonable and should be easily viewed as sincere.
Assuming you have done nothing wrong and are then subjected to discrimination, it is up to you to properly document the incident. You may want to consider sending an email to yourself in which you write down exactly what was said to you when the discrimination took place.
Were there any other employees nearby when the incident happened? Make a note of this as well. After you properly document what happened, you may be able to go to your HR department armed with a complete report of the situation. If you receive any push back or retaliation after you first speak up, make sure you document this as well.
Hire an Attorney
In most cases, you should probably go through the appropriate channels at your workplace to get the situation addressed if possible. However, if it is clear you are not going to make headway or your direct supervisor has demonstrated that he or she just doesn't care, then it's time to look into your legal options. Employment discrimination lawyers are experts at dealing with situations just like the one you are going through. Sometimes just a simple phone call from an attorney can be enough to get your employer to change their tune. If that doesn't work, you can seek justice in the courtroom.
Contact an employment discrimination lawyer today if you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace.