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St. Louis Missouri Labor & Employment Law Firm | Employment Discrimination Attorney | Religious Discrimination
Call Us Now : (314) 645-4100
MISSOURI LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW
Religious Discrimination

Religious Discrimination In Missouri

The Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits employers with six or more employees from discriminating against individuals based on the religion in interviewing, hiring, employment, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Employers must allow employees to engage in reasonable religious expression and practices. Generally, employers may not place any more restrictions on religious expression than they place on other comparable forms of expression.

Establishing Your Case

To establish a case of religious discrimination, you must prove that:

  1. You had a bona fide religious belief;
  2. You informed your employer of your belief and that it conflicted with your responsibilities as an employee;
  3. You were threatened with or subjected to discriminatory treatment.

Once you prove your initial case your employer then bears the burden of proving that it made good faith efforts to accommodate your religious beliefs.

Bona Fide Religious Belief

In order to enjoy the protections against religious discrimination in the workplace the employee's religious beliefs must be 'bona fide'. Generally, the employee's beliefs must be religious and t hey must be sincerely held. These protections and rights do not extend to beliefs or practices which one might characterize as purely personal preference.

Reasonable Accommodation

Employers must make reasonable efforts to accommodate an employee's bona fide religious beliefs and practices. However, employers are not required to make reasonable accommodations if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

A reasonable religious accommodation is any adjustment to the work environment which would allow the employee to practice his or her bona fide religious beliefs. Some reasonable accommodations the Court has upheld include:

  • Job reassignment
  • Lateral employment transfers
  • Voluntary substitutions or swaps of shifts
  • Flexible scheduling practices
  • Modification of dress code and grooming requirements
  • Alterations to other workplace practices, policies and procedures

Corporations and Associations Owned and Operated by Religious or Sectarian Groups

While most employers with six or more employees (including state and local governments) must comply with the MHRA, corporations and associations owned and operated by religious or sectarian groups do not need to comply.

Have You Suffered Discrimination In Your Workplace Based On Your Religious Beliefs and Practices?

Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your rights. Please fill out our contact form and we will contact you as soon as possible, or call us today at (314) 645-4100.