Mahoney Logo
Close this search box.

Religious Discrimination Attorney in Illinois

You have the right to observe your religion without infringement or discrimination at work. If you are mistreated or treated differently than your coworkers because of your religion, you have the right to file an employment discrimination claim and hold your employer accountable. Experienced religious discrimination attorney Ryan Mahoney can help you fight to make things right.

On this page
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Do you believe you have been mistreated at work or treated differently than your coworkers because of your religion? Maybe you have been left out of work-related activities, denied promotions, or terminated for observing religious holidays.

    State and federal laws protect you against these types of actions at work. As the victim of religious discrimination, you can take a stand and fight to make things right. An experienced religious discrimination attorney at the Mahoney Law Firm can help.

    For more than 16 years, Ryan Mahoney has dedicated his career to leveling the playing field for clients whose rights have been trampled in the workplace. He understands that employers have the upper hand, and he works tirelessly to ensure that his clients have every opportunity to tell their stories and hold their employers accountable for unlawful discriminatory practices.

    Religious discrimination in the workplace can have immediate and long-lasting consequences that touch every corner of your life. Don’t let your employer off the hook for their misconduct. Call our law office in Madison County, Illinois, and get an award-winning Illinois trial attorney to fight for you. Your first consultation is free, so get in touch with a member of our team today.

    What is religious discrimination in the workplace?

    Religious discrimination occurs when a job applicant or employee is mistreated because of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Religious discrimination might involve:

    • Recruiting
    • Hiring
    • Compensation
    • Job benefits, including PTO, vacation, retirement, and health benefits
    • Incentives and bonuses
    • Promotions
    • Transfers
    • Tenure
    • Discharge
    • Discipline
    • Retaliation
    • Termination

    Some examples of religious discrimination might include:

    • Not getting hired for a job because you are Jewish
    • Receiving less pay than other coworkers for comparable work because you are a Buddhist
    • Not getting promoted because you are an atheist
    • Getting fired for using your PTO to observe different Islamic holidays

    You can also experience indirect religious discrimination in the workplace if an employer’s policies adversely affect you because of your religion.

    For instance, an employer might have a strict dress code that prohibits employees from wearing hats or head coverings. This could interfere with an employee’s ability to practice their religion if they regularly wear a hijab, turban, yarmulke, or other religious head covering.

    What is considered a religion?

    For the purposes of religious discrimination in the workplace, “religion” is broadly defined. According to the Office of Civil Rights, religious practices aren’t limited to those observed by a church or established religious group. Religious practice can also include “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.”

    Simply put, religion is an employee’s strongly held moral or ethical belief and may or may not be part of a larger organization.

    Illinois State and Federal Protections Against Religious Discrimination

    As a job applicant or employee in the state of Illinois, you have protections under state and federal antidiscrimination laws.

    Federal Religious Discrimination Protections

    Religious discrimination is explicitly prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to the federal government and all public and private employers with at least 15 employees. Under this federal law, employers cannot treat an employee less favorably or differently because of a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics include sex, age, race, and religion, among other things.

    The law not only prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees because of their religion but requires them to provide “reasonable accommodations.” In other words, your employer must accommodate your observance of religion even when it conflicts with work requirements—as long as it doesn’t create an undue hardship for your employer.

    An accommodation could mean giving you time during the day to pray, allowing you to leave early sometimes to get to a place of worship, or permitting you to take time off to celebrate religious holidays.

    An undue hardship could mean creating a safety hazard at work, infringing on the rights of other employees, or requiring other employees to do more work to make up the difference.

    Illinois Religious Discrimination Protection

    The Illinois Human Rights Act protects employees and job applicants in the state from religious discrimination in the workplace. Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, religion is defined to include “all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief.”

    However, the Illinois Human Rights Act does explicitly provide that the term “employer” does not include places of worship or religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, society, or nonprofits “conducted by and for those who rely upon treatment by prayer through spiritual means in accordance with the tenets of a recognized church or religious denomination.”

    In other words, religious institutions aren’t bound by the same antidiscrimination laws as other employers. For all other employers in the state, the Illinois Human Rights Act applies to employers with at least one employee.

    What damages can I get in an Illinois religious employment discrimination claim?

    When you file a claim for religious-based employment discrimination under Title VII and the Illinois Human Rights Act, you can potentially recover actual damages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. This could include:

    • Reinstatement
    • Front pay
    • Back pay
    • Lost job benefits
    • Out-of-pocket costs
    • Marital strain
    • Emotional distress
    • Attorney’s fees

    Compensatory awards—like those for pain and suffering or marital strain—are only available under claims brought under federal antidiscrimination law. So, bringing a religious discrimination claim under both state and federal law has benefits.

    How long do I have to file a religious discrimination claim in Illinois?

    You have 300 days from the last discriminatory act to file a religious discrimination claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Once the statute of limitations expires, you give up the opportunity to assert your legal rights.

    Protect Your Rights With an Illinois Religious Discrimination Attorney

    Employers aren’t allowed to ask about your religion when you apply for a job. It has no bearing on your ability to do the job. At the end of the day, your religion is part of who you are—and it is something you are entitled to practice without infringement or discrimination.

    If you have been subjected to unequal terms and conditions of employment or mistreated because of your religious beliefs or practices, your employer has violated state and/or federal law. Illinois religious discrimination lawyer Ryan Mahoney is here to help you hold them accountable for their unlawful actions.

    By filing a lawsuit, you don’t just fight for yourself. You fight to make the workplace a better place for others. Take a stand, and have a top-rated Illinois employment discrimination attorney from the Mahoney Law Firm beside you for strength, support, and guidance. Call our law office in Madison County, Illinois, to discuss the details of your religious discrimination case today.

    Speak With an Experienced Employment Attorney About Age Discrimination in the Workplace in Illinois

    If you suspect that you’ve been fired, passed over for a promotion, or otherwise discriminated against because of your age, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to document the discriminatory conduct and gather any pieces of evidence that might support your allegations.

    Then contact the Mahoney Law Firm and discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced Illinois age discrimination lawyer. Our law office provides a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to give us a call or reach out to us online to schedule yours today.

    Image of a justice scale
    There for you when you need it most.