Chapter 10: Religious Discrimination

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Chapter 10: Religious Discrimination

I. Statutory Basis

· It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a employer:

- to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual’s… religion.. or

- to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or other adversely affect his status as an employee because of such individual’s religion… [Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964]

· Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therefore… (1st Amendment)

II. This is not your Forefather’s religious Discrimination

· The right to practice religion freely and not be required to blindly accept the government’s state-imposed religious beliefs was a large part of what made America break away from Great Britain and its Church of England more than a century later

· Title VII embodies this protection in the employment arena by prohibiting discrimination in employment based on religion – either its beliefs or practices

· It is clear that this issue [religious discrimination] has taken on even more pressing note since 9/11

· Comprise 4.3% of EEOC lawsuits

· Religious discrimination claims have continuously increased (doubled between 1992 and 2007)

· The increase in litigation involving religious issues began to pick up when issues of workplace activities and harassment issues surrounding religious practices became more active in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the rising popularity of Fundamentalist Christianity and televangelism.

· Federal and state constitutional guarantees of...