Discrimination based on a person’s religion is illegal in Texas and violates both state and federal law. Religious discrimination may include the following:
Comments or jokes about a particular religion or religious group;
Failing to hire an individual based on that individual’s religion or religious beliefs;
Creating a hostile work environment for individuals of a certain religion or religious group;
Failing to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices;
Denying an employee a pay raise or promotion based on that individual’s religion; or
Providing an employee with negative performance reviews based on that individual’s religion.
State and federal law also prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who complains about gender discrimination. Employers may also be required to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious beliefs or practices. A reasonable accommodation is a modification of an employee’s job duties or working environment which does not cause undue hardship to the employer. It is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of that employee’s association with a person of a particular religious group.
A victim of religious discrimination can be of any religion. The harasser can be any other employee that you work with, including a co-worker or supervisor. If you believe that you have been discriminated against based on your religion or religious beliefs, it is important to complain internally to human resources or other individual(s) designated by your employer to handle employee complaints. It is also important to document any and all events that you believe constitute religious discrimination to best protect your rights.
There are certain time limitations for filing a complaint based on religious discrimination. Under state law, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, an individual must file a complaint no later than 180 days after the most recent occurrence of religious discrimination. Under federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an individual must file a complaint no later than 300 days after the most recent occurrence of religious discrimination. Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable employment attorney as soon as practicable.