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Employee uniforms and religious beliefs

While news about the jobs market appears promising because of the latest jobs report, it may be lost on many people that applicants and employees are still being discriminated against in the workplace because of their religious beliefs. It is unfortunate, given that the 1964 Civil Rights Act celebrated 50 years of existence last year, that some employees will be denied a chance to earn a living because of what they wear to support their religious beliefs.

Nevertheless, Title VII of the Act protects employees from being discriminated against because of their beliefs. With that said, it is important for employees to understand what their rights are when it comes to working within an organization that requires uniforms. For instance, people who work at the front desk in a hotel; those who work in fast food restaurants, and employees for retail stores must wear uniforms. 

However, employers in these industries must provide reasonable accommodations for employees who need deviations. Even still, there are countless employees who are afraid to speak up and assert their rights or challenge a rule that would prohibit them from wearing their religious dress (especially head dress) while at work.

They may be concerned about meeting financial obligations or have been fired in the past for speaking out. While these may be legitimate fears, one’s religious beliefs should not be set aside when federal and state law protects them.

If this describes you or someone you love, a conversation with an experienced employment law attorney may be in order. 

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