Friday, January 16, 2009

EEOC & Religious Discrimination at Work


Understanding the laws against religious discrimination will help operators create a more accepting workplace.

Vigilant employers are already on the lookout for age, sexual, and racial discrimination within their stores. According to a report released by the United States’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), religious discrimination is also becoming a problem at many workplaces.

The report, released in the summer of 2008, states that over the past 15 years—from 1992 to 2007—religious discrimination has doubled, causing the EEOC to issue a new Compliance Manual Section regarding workplace discrimination on the basis of religion.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII already prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. The new section does not unveil any new policies or procedures, according to The Workplace Word, a newsletter produced by Snell & Wilmer LLP, a law-firm based in Arizona, but serves as a resource for understanding religious discrimination and how to prevent and resolve it.

The EEOC also reports that in fiscal 2007 alone it obtained more than $6.4 million for individuals charging religious discrimination. Surprisingly, this amount did not include any awards from litigation, but represented the amount the EEOC was able to negotiate through its mediation programs.

If you think you have been a victim of religious discrimination or any other EEOC protected rights, please contact our office to discuss the matter with an attorney.

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