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Can My Boss Stop Me from Wearing Religious Clothing at Work?

By Dan Atkerson on August 03, 2016

Religious discrimination continues to be a serious issue within our country. Workplace discrimination based on your religion can be hugely detrimental to you, since it affects your ability to earn a living.

Religious discrimination in the workplace can come in a variety of forms. Denying you promotions, cutting your wage and hours, or even wrongful termination. As monumental as any of those actions could be, it’s often the smaller things that slowly eat away at us. A boss who prevents you from wearing religious clothing at work, for example, could be very destructive.

Can My Boss Ban Me from Wearing Religious Clothing at Work?

Any business may enforce a dress code, and many do. Uniform policies don’t often create problems, but what if an employer will not allow you to wear some form of religious clothing? Common examples include Muslim hijabs, Christian crosses, and Sikh turbans.

There are also numerous religions which prohibit followers from wearing certain articles of clothing. For example, Muslim, Orthodox Jewish, and Pentecostal Christian women are not allowed to wear short skirts or pants.

Then there is the question of grooming. Some religions have rules about hair length and shaving, such as a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks, a Sikh’s uncut beard and hair, and a Jewish person’s sidelocks. Can employers force employees to cut their hair, even if it violates their religions?

In short, your boss is required to make reasonable accommodations that don’t interfere with your religious beliefs. That means that unless it causes undue hardship in the business, your employer will most likely be prohibited from forcing you to take off religious garments, cut your hair, or shave.

If you are fired, demoted, denied a job or a promotion, or are treated unfairly because of your religion, or refusal to take off religious garments, you should talk to an employment lawyer. Everyone deserves an opportunity to earn a living regardless of your religion. Wearing religious clothing at work likely costs your employer nothing, and is your constitutional right.

Dallas employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson is a successful trial attorney who is known to fight aggressively on behalf of his clients. He works every day to do everything he can to prevent further workplace discrimination.

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