Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Religious Discrimination and Disparate Impact Discrimination in Employment

People practice their religious beliefs in various ways and actions such as in the manner of dressing, prayers, and observing certain traditions, among others. But sometimes, these practices conflict with employment rules and certain policies that result in employment disputes such as discrimination lawsuits.

Discriminating against an employee in the practice of his/her religious belief is prohibited by both state and federal laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits all forms of discrimination in employment including in the practice of these religious beliefs.

Recently, a former employee has decided to sue Abercrombie & Fitch for religious discrimination after she was terminated for wearing hijab, a Muslim headscarf, at the workplace.

The employer’s action surely constitutes disparate impact discrimination which is a subtle form of discrimination. Under this condition, an employer has no express policy for treating one or more religious groups unequally; instead a policy exists which makes no mention of a particular religion but affects certain religious groups as well.

Another form of religious discrimination is disparate treatment which is an overt form, where an employer refuses to hire or promote employees who belong to a particular religion.

The third form is hostile environment which arises when the employer or co-worker harass an employee on the basis of his/her religious belief or faith. The action must be so pervasive to be considered discriminatory.

If you believe you have been treated unfairly at work because of your religious beliefs, you can consult with our expert Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys. Call us at 1-866-772-2889, or email us at info@mesriani.com for free case analysis.