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What constitutes religious harassment?

Harassment in the workplace is something you have the right to be protected against. You should never be made to feel uncomfortable because of your religious affiliation when at work in Indiana. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, religious harassment is when someone causes your work environment to be difficult because of his or her issues with your religious choices. It is a complex situation because harassment is more than just a single incident.

The basis of proving harassment is that it must be an ongoing activity. It cannot be a one-time issue. For example, if someone makes a negative comment about your religion only one time and never again brings it up, then it is not classified as harassment. This classification requires a hostile workplace where you are repeatedly being pursued by others. It can also include effects on your work status, such as you being fired due to your religion or due to other employees not being comfortable with your religion.

Anyone in your workplace can be guilty of harassing you. This includes coworkers, superiors and even customers. It is your employer's responsibility to ensure you are comfortable and do not feel intimidated or otherwise uncomfortable due to the actions of others. You have the right to make a complaint and have your concerns addressed.

Harassment is close to discrimination, but with discrimination, it is less about words and intimidation. Discrimination includes things like refusing to allow you to wear religious related items, not hiring you due to a religious affiliation or forbidding time off for religious holidays. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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