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Study examines religious discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Workplace Discrimination

Despite greater attention being paid to workplace issues and protecting employees from mistreatment, there are still violations taking place. For example, in Colorado and across the United States, people are frequently confronted with various forms of discriminatory behavior. Despite attempts to emphasize tolerance and acceptance of other people, complaints of discrimination remain common. One aspect that happens surprisingly often is religious discrimination. It is important for people who have been negatively impacted by this to understand that they have rights.

Rice University study shows extent of religious discrimination at work

A recent study from Rice University found that people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith said they faced discrimination in varying degrees and in different forms. Researchers conducted interviews of people who claimed to have been discriminated against. It goes beyond simple matters of being hired, fired and denied a promotion. According to the study, Muslims (two of three) and Jews (half) stated they experienced discrimination. These two groups asserted that they were subjected to negative stereotypes about their religion. This is especially true when they are observing certain rituals, eating specific foods, wearing garb that others deem unusual and asking for time off from work due to a specific religious holiday.

With Christians, evangelicals are a target due to preconceptions about their beliefs and interpretation of their religion. For example, they are automatically thought to be politically conservative and receive comments about that. Many stated they felt isolation on the job because colleagues were reluctant about the types of conversations that would be deemed appropriate given perceptions about their religious beliefs and teachings. People might downplay their beliefs to avoid this treatment.

To address religious discrimination at work, help may be needed

Workplace discrimination can damage a person’s life financially, emotionally and professionally. Even if the behavior has not risen to the level where jobs are lost and income is limited, it might still constitute a violation of employment law and warrant action. Those who have been discriminated against should have advice as to how to proceed to put a stop to the behavior and be treated according to the law. To understand whether a situation has reached the threshold of discrimination and to move forward with a case, the circumstances should be professionally assessed.