An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise "retaliate" against individuals for filing a charge of discrimination, because they complained to their employer about discrimination on the job, or because they participated in an employment discrimination proceeding. Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency or labor organization takes as adverse action, such as denying a promotion or increased surveillance, against an individual who opposed unlawful practices, participated in a proceeding related to employment discrimination or requested reasonable accommodation based on religion or disability.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from retaliating against employees. Employers with 20 or more employees are prohibited from retaliating under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Virtually all employers are covered under the Equal Pay Act.
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.