Kraken Nav Logo
Woman suffering from religious discrimination by coworkers

5 Religious Discrimination Examples In The Workplace

Working at a company means you may suffer from bias during your business hours. This may be due to various types of discrimination in the workplace such as ageism or religious bias.

If you want to enhance your knowledge about the latter, you’re in the right place. Let’s look at the top five religious discrimination examples to help you understand this injustice.

What Is Religious Discrimination In The Workplace?

A definition post on what is religious discrimination in the workplace

Unfavorable treatment at work due to your religion is a type of discrimination that many people suffer from. It is an injustice that is illegal in countries such as the US.

The law in this nation prevents companies from discriminating against employees of well-known and lesser-known religions. These include:

  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Buddhism

If your company treats you differently because of your religious beliefs, you can file a complaint against them. Remember religious discrimination examples may also include bias due to your spouse or family members.

Sometimes, people who are atheists or belong to Christianity may have a spouse of another religion such as Hinduism.

If your workplace is aware of that, they may treat you unfairly due to prejudices about your spouse’s beliefs.

The company may engage in direct or indirect discrimination. For instance, they may pass negative comments against you because of your spouse’s religion.

Religious Accommodation In The Workplace

An infographic on religious accommodation in the workplace

The EEOC requires workplaces to offer specific accommodations in their offices. This is to ensure every person receives the same treatment without bias.

So the law requires workplaces to offer religious accommodations to their employees. Such laws promote a positive working environment of religion in the workplace.

Accommodations due to religion in the workplace may include:

  • Flexible shift timings
  • Job reassignments
  • Specific holiday leaves e.g. on a day a community experiences an annual religious event
  • Shift substitutions or exchanges
  • Safe space for praying in the company

Every employer is required to offer these accommodations unless the policy is a significant burden to their company’s working factors such as cost.

If a company purposely doesn’t offer accommodations to a specific religious group of employees, they are engaging in discrimination. This means such companies can be held liable in the US court of law.

Who Is Protected From Religious Discrimination In The Workplace?

An answer post explaining who is protected from religious discrimination in the workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects all US citizens and foreigners working in the nation based on their religion in the workplace. Every employee at their company is protected under this law from religious discrimination examples.

Job applicants who apply at different companies also receive coverage under the law. This means companies cannot let their religious prejudice against specific applicants come in the way of offering them a job.

Any intern or person training in the workplace also receives protection from religious prejudice. This law protects those who believe in a specific religion and those who don’t believe in any religion.

This means that a Christian and an atheist are both protected under the Civil Rights Act in their workplace.

What The Data Says About Religious Prejudice At Work

In the US, one of the common religious groups that suffer prejudice at work includes Muslims. A 2019 survey indicates that 82% of Muslims in the US suffer from discrimination due to their religious beliefs.

Women in many countries also suffer religious harassment examples due to their dressing as per their beliefs. For example, Muslim females may wear a scarf or “hijab” around their head which can put them in trouble.

Research studies have also shown that atheists also suffer from religious discrimination. This is usually in the form of religious harassment examples.

So the data shows that religious prejudice in US workplaces is highly common. You may suffer from direct bias such as denial of promotions or indirect discrimination in the form of bullying or harassment.

5 Common Religious Discrimination Examples In The Workplace

An infographic on religious discrimination examples in the workplace

Let’s look at the top five religious discrimination examples in the workplace to help you understand this injustice better:

1.   Lack Of Promotion Because Of Religion

One of the religious discrimination examples includes a lack of career growth opportunities due to your beliefs. For instance, you may be denied a promotion multiple times due to your Islamic religion.

A company may tell you that you’re not the right fit for a promotion yet. They may mention your performance has not been up to par at the company regardless of internal company statistics.

Sometimes a company may also pass you for a promotion and offer the same opportunity to a less qualified employee. All these religious discrimination examples are indicators of bias.

They may also refuse to promote due to your daily prayers. The company may have a religious prejudice that you cannot offer high efficiency in a role due to breaks that you must take for praying.

Such prejudices lead to a hostile working environment because the employer is no longer making decisions on work performance.

A workplace may also hinder your career growth by not offering you training opportunities. This will prevent you from enhancing your skills to ensure you’re not eligible for promotions due to lack of training.

You must notice these signs of religious discrimination examples to take action against your employer or colleagues.

For example, you may file a complaint with a senior manager in your company or to HR. Government options are also available for religious discrimination complaints.

You may hire a lawyer to understand your options to fight against religious discrimination examples.

2.   Unequal Pay Due To Religious Beliefs Or Practices

Another injustice that people belonging to specific religions suffer from is unequal pay. You and your Christian colleague may be in the same role at the company for a long time.

However, your salary may be lower than your colleague’s if you belong to Judaism, Hinduism, or another religion. This is regardless of whether your overall work performance is better than that of your colleagues.

Such discrimination may also include a lack of other benefits that people belonging to culturally acceptable religions receive. For instance, you may not receive bonuses as frequently as your white colleagues.

The disparity between pay allows the company to enhance its profits while engaging in bias. This is why it is important to understand such religious discrimination examples.

A company may also not offer their Muslim workers access to savings accounts or pension schemes. The workplace may also try to hide discrimination by offering excuses such as the maximum worker limit for specific benefits has been reached.

So your religious practices may cause you to suffer financially due to lower pay than your colleagues. Your bonus rate may also be less than that of other employees. The company may offer you a lower rate for overtime.

You may notice such religious discrimination examples by talking to other workers belonging to the same religion or practices. This may help you learn about a pattern that the company is following for specific communities.

3.   Physical Or Verbal Harassment

Religious discrimination examples don’t just include bias methods such as unequal pay. The situation may escalate to a negative or hostile working environment due to religious harassment examples.

For instance, your colleagues or senior managers may say hurtful words against you. They may also use degrading nicknames to decrease your confidence. This is especially true if a colleague wants you to mess up an important upcoming meeting or presentation.

The worst part is that the harassment may also be physical. For example, an employee may forcefully take off a religious article such as a scarf from your head.

They may also prevent you from wearing specific clothing to the workplace regardless of no policies against wearing it. An employer may also conduct a religious attack by intentionally hurting you.

For example, they may discretely spill a coffee cup on you. They may also push you with significant force in front of other employees. Such attacks can lead to severe fall injuries and other wounds.

A manager may also trip you discretely to attack you without anyone noticing their religious prejudice. Such physical assaults can lead to mental disorders such as PTSD, especially if the treatment is harsh.

Religious discrimination examples of harassment are serious issues that you must complain about. You can file a complaint with the EEOC to fight a case against your employer.

Remember to hire an expert workplace discrimination lawyer to deal with religious harassment examples.

4.   Prohibiting The Time For Religious Observance

Sometimes a company may not affect your working ability by taking away your projects. Instead, your employer may prevent you from observing your religious practices.

For instance, they may purposely make you work overtime on days of specific religious holidays within your community. They may ask you to meet a client at the same time as your daily prayer time.

Creating an unfair working schedule for specific communities is an indirect form of religious discrimination examples. You may miss out on time with your family during an important religious event.

It is easy to understand this indicator of religious prejudice by seeing how many workers of the same religion experience prohibition. You may notice that more Muslims are made to work on holidays such as Eid or overtime during Ramadan.

Similarly, Hindu workers may be prohibited from leaving the office early during event days such as Diwali. If you notice signs of such religious discrimination, it is necessary to file a complaint with your employer.

They may investigate the claim and make changes in company policies to protect you. That is because sometimes managers may use their prejudice while hiding their mistakes from the employer.

So it is important to report such incidents to the HR of your company to ensure appropriate action is taken.

5.   Unjust Termination Due To Religion

There are different types of religious discrimination examples, but the most severe may be unjustly termination. Your company may fire you by indicating your performance is poor.

They may also fire you due to budget cuts or other discrete reasons. However, the underlying reason may be your religious beliefs. An employer may not want people of a specific religion in their company.

The company may also terminate you if they find out your spouse’s religion is different than yours. This is especially true if your partner may be a Muslim.

Sometimes companies also engage in religious discrimination examples by eliminating positions within the workplace. For example, your workplace may terminate you by saying your position has been removed from the company as it is not needed anymore.

However, the company may create a new position with the same responsibilities and hire a person of another preferred religion. This usually happens after a few months of wrongful termination.

In some cases, a workplace may also engage in marginalized treatment to force employees to quit themselves. Remember if you’re forced to leave your job due to discrimination, you can take action against it too.

If you have been fired unjustly due to your religion, you may hire a workplace discrimination lawyer. The attorney can review your case and help you collect evidence for a lawsuit.

They may also get you rightful compensation for the unexpected salary loss you suffered due to wrongful termination. So be sure to consult an attorney if you have evidence of religious discrimination in the workplace.


What Is Religious Bias In The Workplace?

Religious bias in the workplace includes unfair treatment due to your beliefs. The different religious discrimination examples include low salary, promotion denial, and clothing requirements.

Due to the bias, you may experience a hostile working environment leading to physical and mental stress.

Is Religion A Protected Class?

Religion is a protected class under the Civil Rights Act. This means companies cannot discriminate against their employees without suffering consequences.

Any workplace engaging in religious discrimination examples can be held liable in a US court of law.

How Do You Talk About Religion In The Workplace?

You can talk about religion in the workplace by being mindful and respectful of different communities. Ask your colleagues if they want to talk on a specific topic or not.

Employers may also hold seminar sessions to enhance awareness and practices of their workers.

What Is An Example Of Religious Conflict In The Workplace?

One of the religious discrimination examples in the workplace includes a worker’s prayer hours conflicting with office hours. For instance, a company event may be held in the hours in which you must pray.

However, mandatory attendance at the event may hinder you from observing your religious practices.

Contact An Attorney To Deal With Religious Discrimination At Work

Now that you are familiar with the top religious discrimination examples, you may want to know how to deal with them. A good way to fight against discrimination in the workplace is by filing an internal complaint.

However, that may not lead to good results every time. In such cases, you must hire a lawyer to help you deal with religious discrimination examples.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look far for a workplace discrimination lawyer in Florida. Contact us today to consult our team and start your religious discrimination lawsuit.

Stay Informed

Our attorneys bring unique approaches, and personal touches to each and every case. We will work with you every step of the way to get results. See our areas of expertise and call us with your legal questions today.

Kraken Contact Logo

Stay Informed

Contact Us