Despite the relatively low number of religious and or related infringement cases in comparison to other human resource compliance obligations, religious concerns have increased with the rise of religious plurality in the workplace. Here’s a checklist of your obligations as an HR representative.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), general charges related to religion entail claims for disparate treatment, denial of reasonable accommodation, retaliation and or harassment, which means that all human resource compliance rules should be considered.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
One such regulation is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) that vetoes employers from discriminating against interviewees and or workers on the basis of religious affiliation. This law commonly applies to companies with more than 15 employees and is enforced by the EEOC.
The exception under this human resource compliance law is that if the organization in question is of a religious character and serves a similar purpose then in some instances as covered by the law your organization would not be liable for breach. The same applies to government appointments.
Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA)
The other rule as regards religion is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which like Title VII Act obliges employers not to discriminate against nor deny employees and applicants their rights as provided for under other human resource compliance laws based on their religion.
Again like the Title VII Act RFRA is enforced by EEOC, which is a federal agency responsible for investigating related complaints by either applicants or employees. The HR law also applies to private and public companies, state governments, and educational bodies with 15 personnel.
In addition to the two among other federal human resource compliance laws such as Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay as well as Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), most states also have regulations that outlaw discriminations based on religion.
Again, some states have additional rules that protect applicants and employees and also outline obligations of their employers. It is important to note that there are occasions when your organization may have a sensibly reason for religion-related discrimination such as when in the bid to meet such an obligation, the employer notices a justifiable “undue hardship.”
Finally, besides the obligations you have under the aforementioned human resource compliance laws, as HR representative you also have the responsibility to post the relevant labor law posters for employees to see and understand their rights.