Religion Discrimination

Religion/National Origin Discrimination

The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the Maine Human Rights Act, make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual on the basis of their religion or national origin.  

Discrimination in employment based on one’s religion or national origin involves treating an employee (or applicant for employment) less-favorably because of that employee’s religion or national origin.  The laws prohibiting discrimination on these bases cover all aspects of employment, such as hiring, firing, rate of pay, promotions, training, and benefits.

How Pervasive is the Harrassment?

Unlawful harassment on these bases may take the form of offensive comments, use of stereotypes, or hostility toward members of a certain religion or country.  Not every instance of bad behavior rises to the level of unlawful harassment.  In explicit, or overt, instances, one time may be sufficient to constitute unlawful harassment.  In other instances, like with inappropriate jokes or stories, the focus is on the frequency, or “pervasiveness,” of the conduct that may result in an overall hostile work environment.  

Head Coverings / Beards?

Some employment policies, even ones that apply equally to all employees, may be discriminatory under the law if they disproportionately affect members of a certain religion or national origin.  For instance, policies that prohibit head-coverings, or beards, may disproportionately affect some employees based on their religion or race/national origin. 

It is important to consult an attorney to determine whether the conduct to which you are subjected constitutes unlawful discrimination. Contact the Religion Descrimination lawyers at Clifford & Clifford to discuss your case.