Maryland Religious Discrimination Laws
Has your Maryland employer discriminated against you due to your faith, religious beliefs or practices? Have you been fired or demoted as a result of your religious creed? If so you have rights according to Maryland and federal law. Baltimore County Religious Discrimination Attorney John G. Turnbull can help you sue your employer for wrongful termination and help you obtain financial compensation for damages.
Contact Mr. Turnbull immediately for a free consultation to discuss your potential claim of employment religious discrimination. He routinely provides legal representation to Essex, Baltimore, Towson and Bel Air, Maryland residents.
Religious Discrimination Laws In Maryland
In the state of Maryland it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on his or her religious beliefs. Employers are in fact required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees to practice their religion as long as the employee does not cause the employer “undue” hardship.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers of five or more persons from discriminating against or harassing an applicant or employee because of religious creed.
Under FEHA, unlawful discrimination includes actions based on an employer’s perception that an applicant or employee has a religious creed, or on the applicant or employee’s association with another person who has, or is perceived to have, a religious creed.
Under the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, religious dress and religious clothing are also included within the definition of “religious belief” and “religious observance.” In addition, “religious creed,” “religion,” “religious observance,” and “religious belief” include all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice.
Forms of Workplace Religious Discrimination
Typically, religious discrimination involves treating an employee, job applicant or worker unfavorably due to their religious practices or a lack thereof. Religious anti-discrimination laws in Maryland not only protect people who belong to organized religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism, but individuals who have deeply held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
Maryland labor specifically law prohibits religious discrimination when it comes to hiring, firing, paying, promoting, or transferring an employee (or any other condition of employment). It is illegal to harass, segregate, or provide unreasonable accommodations to employees due to their religious beliefs.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. The Act also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer (see also 29 CFR l605).
For example, an employer or agent acting on behalf of the employer cannot make any type of offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices. Note, the harassment must be frequent and severe. The law does not provide a remedy for isolated incidents of harassment.
Filing a Religious Discrimination Claim In MD
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Maryland’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing enforce anti-discrimination claims.
You must first file your discrimination claim with one of the two agencies in order to obtain validation to sue (based on the agencies findings, you will receive a letter detailing whether you have standing to sue your employer in civil court – state or federal).
Depending on the nature of your case, it may be in your best interest to file your claim with the EEOC in order to later bring an action in federal court alleging that your employer violated a federal law or statute. An experienced workplace discrimination lawyer can help you file your claim.
If you have been treated unfairly in the workplace for any reason please do not hesitate to discuss your religious discrimination case with our Towson Employment Law Attorneys.