Personal Religious Beliefs in the Workplace: How Not to Define Indirect Discrimination
22 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 29, 2011
Religious discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of her religion. In cases of indirect discrimination the claimant needs to demonstrate that an otherwise neutral measure has caused her to suffer a particular disadvantage which people with different religious beliefs did not suffer. In Eweida v. British Airways the Court of Appeal held that personal religious beliefs which are not part of official religious dogma cannot be relied upon as a basis for a claim of indirect discrimination. The article argues that this is an erroneous interpretation of anti-discrimination law. It discusses, first, the reasoning in Eweida; then, it examines the treatment of personal religious beliefs in other cases in Britain and the United States; finally, it places the issue in a human rights framework.
Keywords: indirect discrimination, freedom of religion, employment, Eweida v. British Airways
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