The workplace can be a very diverse atmosphere, filled with employees of different races, cultures, religions and ages. Despite this being a naturally occurring and beneficial characteristic in the work environment, some employees in Minnesota and other states across the nation experience mistreatment, harassment or discrimination because of their differences. When employment discrimination occurs, it is important that employees understand how to speak out about their experience or the experience of others in order to protect their civil rights.

In Minnesota, and elsewhere in the nation, employees come for all different faiths. In some cases, religious beliefs or faiths are the reason that some employees are mistreated or discriminated against. Employees should be aware that they have employee rights, and any discrimination based on any characteristic, including religious belief, is against the law.

No matter what religious, ethical or moral beliefs an employee holds, they should feel safe and free from mistreatment based to those beliefs. In cases where employees take a portion out of their day to pray or complete religious practices, employees should feel at ease and comfortable carrying out these actions. Furthermore, it is illegal for employers to prohibit these religious practices, unless it creates a burden on the business, or segregate employees based on religion.

Whether based on a form of religious practice, an employee’s beliefs, or the religious garments they wear, harassment, mistreatment or discrimination against an employee is against the law, unless such practices place an undue hardship on the business. Therefore, those dealing with religious discrimination should consider speaking with a legal professional to better understand their rights and legal remedies. This might lead to a civil action that could provide the employee with compensation for the damages suffered and send the message that religious discrimination in the workplace will not be tolerated.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Religious Discrimination,” accessed on Jan. 27, 2015