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Do not tolerate being singled out for your religion

There is usually little reason for the details of your personal life to have an impact on your ability to do your job. It should not matter whether you are married or not or what your sexual preference is. It should not be an issue if you have come from another country, as long as you are legally allowed to work in the U.S. It should also not matter what your religion is.

Sadly, as many employees in Indiana learn each year, religious discrimination is a serious and prevalent problem. Some employees are directly persecuted simply because an employer or colleague dislikes their religion. Others are denied the right to dress as their religion requires, or to have breaks when necessary to accommodate their beliefs.

Some employees may need time off for religious holidays, or simply require prayer breaks at certain points in the day. Others may be required to cover their head or hair, a matter that can become an issue in workplaces with a policy of not allowing headwear. However, as this article on discrimination explains, singling anyone out purely for their religion is illegal. Employers are expected to make allowances for the employee's needs.

However, if a religious requirement limits an employee's ability to perform the essential functions of a job, then the employer has far greater grounds to dismiss him or her. This could be the case if a religion forbade drawing blood, it would be reasonable for a follower of that faith to be denied a position as a phlebotomist.

Of course, matters are rarely so clear-cut and many employees face serious persecution as a result of their religion. If you find yourself in this position, you might want to contact an attorney. He or she can evaluate your situation and may be able to help you pursue compensation for your mistreatment.

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