What is Creed or Religious Harassment?
In Wisconsin, and the rest of the United States, the law prohibits harassment on the basis of an individual’s religion. Religious harassment occurs when offensive or derogatory comments, slurs, or the display of insensitive or offensive symbols are made in the workplace because of a person’s religion. Religious harassment can be illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
It could be religious harassment if:
- A supervisor says something to suggest they would be easier on the employee if they both shared the same religious views.
- A co-worker attempts to get an employee to convert to their religion.
- Another employee posts a joke in the break room that depicts members of an employee’s religion as animals, clowns, or terrorists.
- An employee overhears a supervisor make a derogatory statement about members of his or her religion.
Who Can Be the Harasser?
Anyone in the workplace. The harasser can be a supervisor or boss, a supervisor or boss from another department, an individual’s co-workers, or even someone who does not work for the company. It can be harassment if a client, customer, or vendor who spends time at the workplace is the one making offensive, disrespectful, or hurtful comments about an employee’s religion. Employer knowledge is often key in these types of cases.
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