Virginia Termination Based on Religion Lawyer
Freedom of religion is held up as a central value in the United States. This right extends to the workplace, as federal and state laws make it illegal for many employers to terminate or otherwise treat someone unfavorably because of religion.
These laws protects all people who have sincerely held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs, not just members of traditional established religions. Similarly, the law prohibits most employers from imposing any religious beliefs or practices on employees.
If you believe religious intolerance was a factor in actions your employer has taken against you, you may want to seek professional guidance from an experienced Virginia termination based on religion lawyer. A dedicated wrongful termination attorney could work with you to get all the details relevant to your case and help you explore options for a potential lawsuit.
Virginia and Federal Laws Prohibit Religious Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an important federal law that prohibits many types of employment discrimination, including discrimination based on religion. It applies to most employers that have 15 or more employees.
At the state level, the Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits religious discrimination in employment. Many local governments have also passed ordinances against religious discrimination. These state and local laws may apply to employers that are not large enough to be covered by federal law.
While these specific laws apply to private sector employees, federal government employees have similar legal protections and, in some situations, may have additional protections under executive orders and the state and federal Constitutions. A Virginia termination based on religion attorney well-versed in these and many other employment laws could advise about which laws may apply to specific situations.
Ways Employers Can Discriminate Based on Religion
Employers cannot require employees to participate (or not participate) in religious activities as a condition of employment. In the same vein, employers should make reasonable schedule adjustments and grant leave for religious observances.
In many instances, employers must accommodate dress or grooming practices that employees have for religious reasons, such as head-coverings, facial hair, uncut hair, and particular articles of clothing.
Finally, harassment based on religion can be unlawful discrimination when it is severe or widespread enough to affect an employee’s work environment. Employers need to take steps to prevent and correct for religious harassment.
Any of these practices on their own may be violations of the law, especially if they result in an employee’s termination. If problems arise at work that relate to religious beliefs or practices, you may want to get legal advice from an experienced termination based on religion lawyer in Virginia.
Potential Defenses in Religious Discrimination Cases
Under Title VII, bona-fide religious organizations are permitted to give preference to members of their own religion. This exception applies only to religious activities and does not allow religious organizations to discrimination on the basis of race, age, disability, or other prohibited reasons. Religious organizations also benefit from a mistrial exemption from the law, which prohibit clergy from bringing employment discrimination claims.
In some cases, employers raise hardship as a reason for not accommodating religious practices or beliefs. However, this defense requires evidence that the accommodation would cause an actual burden to the employer. An employer cannot simply state that it would require a change to its policies or that it fears that too many employees will need accommodations.
In a termination case, employers usually give a non-discriminatory reason for taking action against an employee. An important part of presenting a strong religious discrimination case can be demonstrating that the employer’s given reason is untrue.
Speak with a Virginia Termination Based on Religion Attorney Today
Religious discrimination in the workplace can come in many forms. If you believe that your employer used your religious beliefs or practices as a reason for terminating you, consider contacting an experienced Virginia termination based on religion lawyer as soon as possible.
Employment discrimination cases are frequently complex and call for dedicated representation from attorneys who understands the demands employment claims. To see how the Spiggle Law Firm could help you, click here to use our free online case review tool.