Employee-on employee abuse is workplace religious discrimination

by on December 31, 2008 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Religious discrimination examples in this case are the stuff of which lawyers dream

A Jehovah’s Witness who worked at the post office says his colleagues subjected him to daily workplace religious discrimination and his supervisor often humiliated him.

The co-workers claimed they were just teasing. But in one incident, a supervisor forced the man to work on Sundays – knowing full well that was in conflict with his religious convictions.

Another time, the same supervisor bullied the worker into buying tickets for a political fund-raiser – even though he knew that political involvement was against the man’s religion.

The worker claimed that because of his religion and his lifestyle, he was continually subjected to workplace religious discrimination. And he said his complaints were ignored.

Finally, he sued the U.S. Postal Service. In court he showed documentation of many instances where he was harassed. The court said there was enough evidence of a “continuing series of biased actions” that could create a hostile work environment.

He had enough evidence for the religious discrimination lawsuit

According to the law, a hostile work environment is one in which the incidents of religious discrimination( or other forms of discrimination) are persistent, ongoing and interfere with one’s ability to do their job. In this case, the court said that the employee presented a strong enough case.

In every workplace, there’s someone who’s a little different. This case teaches us to take every complaint of teasing seriously, and to put a lid on “good-natured teasing” before it gets out of hand.

Cite: King v. United States Postal Service, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 01 Civ 8876, 5/29/02.

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