Religious freedom is one of the principles on which America was founded and one of the basic rights we value most. Religious discrimination involves treating a person unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on religion by a private employer, state or local government or educational institution with 15 or more employees for 20 or more weeks a year.
Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of religion in hiring and other conditions of employment. The law requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship on the employer.
If you think you have been discriminated against because of your religion, you may file employment discrimination charges as an individual or as part of a group (known as "class action") with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The charges must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. If you are represented by a union, contact your union steward, who can help you file charges. Federal employees must file discrimination charges within their own agency. They must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the discriminatory act.
You can file a charge by calling the EEOC office at 800-669-4000 for more information (800-669-6820 for the hearing impaired). All charges must include:
- Your name, address and telephone number.
- Your job title.
- A brief description of the problem.
- When the incident(s) occurred.
- The type of discrimination you encountered.
In addition to your denomination's website, the following sites also can provide information about discrimination: