The American workplace is becoming religiously diverse as never before. Diversity and inclusion have become important aspect in today workplace. Thus, it is important for Louisiana employers to understand how they can prevent discrimination based on religion in their place of employment, and treat employees fairly and equitable.

One method that can help guard employers and hiring managers from intentionally or unintentionally behaving in a discriminatory manner with respect to evaluating and hiring potential candidates for employment is to establish objective criteria that any potential hire should meet to be eligible for employment. The criteria must be written in a clear and concise manner and must be adhered to anytime a potential hire is evaluated.

Employers can sometimes be vulnerable to religious discrimination claims by disgruntled or disaffected employees. To help reduce the chance of defending against false religious discrimination claims it is important to accurately note the relevant business reasons that an employee is being subjected to disciplinary or performance-related actions. That information must then be shared with the employee in a timely manner.

It is also a sound business practice to have managers attend adequate training to help them identify and avoid acting in a discriminatory manner. Instituting a policy that requires managers to confer with more experienced managers in such situations is also advisable. Having a fresh set of eyes evaluate a situation can sometimes uncover hidden biases that may otherwise not be obvious. For Louisiana businesses, developing employment policies to comport with existing regulation on equal opportunity may be daunting, but it is important step to prevent employment litigation.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Best Practices for Eradicating Religious Discrimination in the Workplace,” Accessed Sept. 21, 2015