Everyone is entitled to his or her religious beliefs and should not be discriminated against in the workplace because of them. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is bringing forth a federal lawsuit on behalf of one of the employees of the Collier County Sheriff's Office. The man claims that he was routinely discriminated against because of his religious beliefs and even held back from getting a promotion.
For many Florida residents, their religion may be a significant part of their lives and play a role in how they conduct themselves. As a result, some individuals may not be able to work on certain days or during certain times due to religious reasons. Unfortunately, some employees could potentially face religious discrimination in the workplace and possibly lose their jobs as a result.
Many of the original settlers who came to this country did so to escape religious persecution. With that in mind, the country currently promotes religious tolerance in the workplace. While federal law prohibits employers from discrimination against employees on the basis of their religion, religious discrimination still occurs. Fortunately, employees in Florida and across the country have the option of having their grievances heard in a civil court if they feel they are a victim of such discrimination. In recent example, a former employee has settled his claims against United Parcel Service.
Because the United States is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, there are often people who practice different religions living in the same area and working in the same place. While this diversity can lead to an opportunity for people to learn more about other cultural traditions, it can also unfortunately lead to discrimination. Many people, including some in Florida, have a tendency to base judgments on outer appearances, but if this type of discrimination occurs at a place of employment, a worker may wish to file a wrongful termination claim.
Florida readers may be aware of a recently filed lawsuit against a medical services company due to unusual religious practices. The suit, filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in response to alleged practices at the company that forced at least four employees to perform religious observations practiced by Scientologists. The story has raised a number of concerns about violations of workplace regulations designed to both prevent religious discrimination and to protect workers from religious coercion.
Last month, we wrote about a woman who is suing Walt Disney Co. for religious discrimination, alleging that she was fired from her job at a Disneyland restaurant for requesting to wear a Muslim head scarf with her uniform. While the incident and resulting lawsuit are California-based, Florida obviously has strong ties to Walt Disney Co. and it is not difficult to imagine a similar dispute occurring here.
We have previously written that illegal discrimination in the workplace occurs all too frequently. However, determining what is and what is not illegal discrimination in practice can sometimes be a tricky business. The European Court of Human Rights is currently considering an issue that has become more and more concerning in American workplaces: what does religious discrimination in the workplace look like?
It is hard to think of Florida without also thinking of Disney. Walt Disney World is not only responsible for generating considerable tourism revenue, it is a vacation destination for families in Florida and around the world.
Employment law is complicated and nuanced. Although anti-discrimination laws protect the vast majority of American workers in a variety of scenarios, notable exceptions exist. For example, some federal laws only protect workers employed at companies of a certain size. Additionally, some applicants with criminal records may be discriminated against during the hiring process, provided that their record directly relates to the job at hand.
Florida has more than its share of immigrant workers, both legal and illegal. Because of cultural and language barriers, immigrants are often victims of employment abuses such as wage-and-hour law violations and other illegal workplace behaviors perpetrated by employers.