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Why Detroit readers need to be aware of religious discrimination

According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, claims of religious discrimination are on the rise in the workplace. This seems to indicate two things: first, that as places like Detroit become more diverse, employees are more aware of their religious rights and second, that employers may be having difficulty keeping up with what they are supposed to do.

According to the EEOC, there were 4,151 claims of religious discrimination filed with the agency during the fiscal year 2011. That is a 9.5 percent jump from the year before, and claims of this nature have been rising steadily since 2005. In fact, the number of religious discrimination charges filed with the EEOC has more than doubled since 1997.

The most commonly complained-about issues are not allowing employees to take appropriate time off to observe a religious day and not allowing workers to wear religions garments.

Experts say that the number of complaints is because the American workplace is more diverse now than ever before and we may not all understand one another's religious needs and practices. One expert also noticed that during tough times, people really cling to religion and so become very unlikely to tolerate even the slightest infringement.

Employees in Detroit should know that it is against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of his or her religion. What constitutes "discrimination" is not always clear-cut, of course, but that is why many people who think their employer acted inappropriately choose to work with employment law attorneys to better understand whether they have a good claim; such lawyers are often very skilled and may be able to help you be more aware of your rights.

Source: Business Insurance, "Religious discrimination claims in the workplace rising," Judy Greenwald, Feb. 12, 2012

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