Chicago Religious Discrimination Attorney

religious discrimination

The right to religious freedom is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, however, religious discrimination is sometimes a problem in Chicago workplaces. If you suspect that your employer has discriminated against you because of your religious beliefs, you need a capable employment attorney at your side.

Vaziri Law, LLC regularly handles employment discrimination cases throughout Illinois, including those arising from religious discrimination. If you have been treated unfairly or harassed due to your religious beliefs, we can help protect your rights. 

We will determine whether you have a viable religious discrimination claim and explore all your legal options. We have in-depth knowledge of the applicable equal employment opportunity laws and a demonstrated track record of success in arbitration and court proceedings. Contact our office today for a consultation. 

What is religious discrimination?

The right to religious freedom applies to established religions like Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as any sincerely held ethical or personal belief, such as paganism, atheism, and veganism. Religious discrimination is forbidden by federal and state law, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
  • The Illinois Human Rights Act  (IHRA)

In spite of these legal protections, employees are often treated unfairly in the workplace because of their religious beliefs or the beliefs of someone with whom they are associated. Generally, there are two types – disparate treatment and failure to provide a reasonable accommodation:

Disparate Treatment

This form of discrimination occurs when (1) an employment decision (e.g. hiring, compensation, promotion, termination) is made based on an employee’s religious belief or practices or (2) an employee is subjected to workplace harassment because of his or her religion.

Reasonable Accommodation Discrimination

This type of religious discrimination occurs when an employer fails to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious or sincerely held beliefs. This might involve not allowing an employee to observe daily prayers or not giving an employee time off for a religious holiday. Notably, employers are not required to provide an accommodation if it would cause the business undue hardship in terms of cost or staffing needs.

While this seems straightforward, identifying religious discrimination can be difficult because employers know how to conceal their illegal and discriminatory motives. For this reason, it is crucial to work with an experienced attorney who has the determination to help you fight back.

What Does Religious Discrimination Look Like?

Religious discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer:

  • Refuses to offer employment to candidates because of their religious or sincerely held beliefs
  • Fires an employee for taking time off for a religious observance even if the employee followed company procedure for requesting time off
  • Does not allow a worker to interact with clients or customers because of religious attire
  • Fails to accommodate religious practices, such as daily prayers
  • Prohibits religious attire (e.g hijab, yarmulke) or grooming customs (e.g. Sikh beard)

Regardless of the type you have experienced, you can trust us to treat you with the dignity and respect that you deserve and help protect your right to religious freedom in the workplace.

Harassment Because of Your Religious Beliefs Is Illegal in Chicago

While harassment is typically thought of in terms of sexual harassment, you may have a viable employment discrimination claim if you have been subjected to offensive conduct, comments, or displays about your religious beliefs by anyone in the workplace – supervisors, coworkers, vendors, clients, customers. At the same time, attempting to convert someone from one religious belief to another (proselytizing) is considered harassment if it interferes with that person’s ability to perform his or her job duties.

How Vaziri Law LLC Can Help

Once you become our client, we will conduct a thorough investigation of your claim and file a religious discrimination lawsuit if necessary. We understand that taking legal action against your employer may be intimidating, but your employer cannot retaliate against you for complaining about religious discrimination or exercising your legal rights. 

While no two employment discrimination cases are the same, you may be able to recover damages, such as: 

  • Back wages
  • Front pay
  • Lost benefits (e.g. health, retirement plans)
  • Bonus payments
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Attorneys’ fees/court costs

Depending on the circumstances, the court may also award “equitable remedies” ordering your employer to take a specific action, such as reinstating your position if you were terminated. 

Contact Our Experienced Chicago Religious Discrimination Attorney

If you have been subjected to religious discrimination in your workplace, we are here to protect your rights. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.