What is Religious Discrimination?
The law prohibits most public and private employers from discriminating against an employee based on the employee’s religion. For example, a Muslim employee who was terminated solely on the basis of his religion following the 9/11 terror attacks would have had a claim for religious discrimination.
Employers are required to accommodate an employee’s religion if it does not impose an undue hardship on the employer. Accommodations might include changing the dress code to accommodate the requirement of wearing certain religious garb or not scheduling an employee to work on his/her Sabbath.
It is important to note that jobs with religious institutions, such as places of worship or religious schools, may be exempt from the discrimination laws in certain cases if the alleged discrimination entails fundamental church doctrine. For example, the termination of an employee who teaches religion in a religious school for engaging in behavior contradictory to the teachings of that religion, might not be discriminatory.