What should an employer do if an employee complains about workplace religious discrimination?

Author: Rhonda Leabo

Title VII prohibits employers with 15 or more employees, or employment agencies or unions, from discriminating in employment based on religion. Under Title VII, in order to be protected, an individual's religious beliefs must be sincerely held. Religious discrimination may surface in the form of direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or the denial of an employee's request for a religious accommodation.

If an employee complains of discrimination or harassment based on religion, the employer should document the complaint, thoroughly investigate the allegations and if necessary, impose discipline on the alleged wrongdoer. An employer is obligated to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs, within reason, so long as it poses no undue hardship on the employer. Similarly, many state and local laws also prohibit religious discrimination and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations based on religion.