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Religious Discrimination

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Religious discrimination is unequal treatment of an individual or group based on their beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organised religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group. What is religious harassment?

There is no official definition of harassment, but it can be described as being singled out because of your religion for mistreatment, particularly if it makes it harder to do your job. If you are harassed by your superiors, this is discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, colour, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments. Title VII also applies to private and public colleges and universities, employment agencies, and labour organizations. Who does Title VII protect?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from discrimination or harassment based on their religion. The act protects not only well-known, established religions such as Christianity or Islam, but also beliefs not associated with a formal church and even the absence of religious beliefs. Under the act, employees may not be treated differently because of their beliefs, harassed or prevented from observing their religious traditions. The law applies to employers with at least 15 employees; religious organizations are exempt from many of the provisions. Religion – Nature of Practice or Belief

In most religious discrimination cases whether or not a practice or belief is religious is not at issue. In cases in which the issue does exist, the Commission will look at the sincerity of the person’s beliefs. Be mindful that a person’s religious beliefs may change over time, individuals may choose to adhere to some tenets of their religion but not others, or they may have a sincere belief in a particular religious practice, even if that practice is not observed by other followers of their religion. What is legally considered religious harassment in the workplace? The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines two kinds of religious harassment in the workplace: requiring employees to abandon or change their religious beliefs as a condition of employment, and unwelcome and comments or behaviour regarding their religion that create a hostile or abusive work environment. For behaviour to qualify as harassment, it must generally be severe and widespread.

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