How Does the Virginia Human Rights Act Protect Religion and Race?

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If you have been discriminated against because of your religious beliefs and race, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced Chesterfield County employment discrimination attorney who can work to achieve the justice you need and deserve to move forward. Our firm is committed to ensuring that your rights are protected. Here are some questions you may have:

How does the Virginia Human Rights Act protect religion and race?

It is important to recognize that religion is a protected class under both the Virginia Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. With that in mind, it is illegal for employers or employees to discriminate against any employee on the basis of their religion. As part of those protections, employers are instructed to provide their employees with appropriate accommodations, so long as the accommodation in question does not cause an undue hardship upon the company. Some examples of reasonable accommodations may include the following:

  • Permitting particular exceptions to dress codes, including head coverings
  • Permitting employees to take the day off to observe a religious holiday
  • Allowing certain exceptions to grooming practices
  • Allowing certain shift substitutions

You may have a valid discrimination claim if you were unfairly denied a reasonable accommodation on the basis of your religion, or if you have been disciplined, terminated, or otherwise unfairly treated as a result of your religion.

Additionally, according to the Virginia Values Act, which amends the Virginia Human Rights Act, employees are covered from discrimination based on their race, in addition to “traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.” If you think that you were fired, demoted, harassed, or otherwise mistreated in the workplace because of your race, it is important to consider your legal options. Our firm is here to help no matter what you are going through.

How can I file a claim for racial or religious discrimination?

If you have been a victim of racial or religious discrimination in the workplace, you should first try to speak with your company’s human resources department. In the event that you do not have an HR department, you should talk directly with your management. If you feel that you were discriminated against because of your race or religion, you may only have 180 days (or 300 days) from the date of the discriminatory action to file your discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Virginia Office of Civil Rights. Also, give our firm a call today to discuss the specifics of your situation and your legal options. Our firm is on your side each step of the way.

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