Of all of the different types of discrimination that can occur in the workplace in Minnesota, most people would probably expect religious discrimination to be among the least common incidents. And, it probably is – after all, not many people go around at work talking to co-workers or managers about their religious beliefs. But, religious discrimination does occur. So, what do our readers in Minnesota need to know about religious discrimination in the workplace?

Well, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the main definition of religious discrimination is unfavorable or disparate treatment based on a person’s “sincerely held” religious beliefs. Most people probably think of some of the “main” religions when it comes to the potential for this type of discrimination, such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism, but it can occur with other types of religious beliefs as well.

Like other forms of discrimination, religious discrimination in the workplace can manifest in a number of ways. Sometimes it will be off-hand remarks and verbal harassment. In other cases, it may be an employer who prevents an employee from engaging in a certain aspect of their religious belief. For the religious discrimination to rise to the level that legal action may be appropriate, the discriminatory or harassing behavior must be persistent and severe, leading to the creation of a hostile work environment.

No worker in Minnesota or elsewhere should be subjected to discrimination at work. But, when this occurs, there are state and federal laws that provide employees with legal protection.