My Boss Dislikes Christians. Hostile Workplace?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about religious discrimination.

My employer openly admits to disliking Christians even though this person knows my faith. I’m now uncomfortable to be at work. Is this considered a hostile work environment?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

We’re not attorneys, so we can’t provide you with the complete legal information you might need. However, Internet resources provide quite a bit of information about Equal Employment Opportunity issues. According to the government website, the general definition of a hostile work environment is one in which words, actions or other situations, create a “severe or pervasive” hostile or abusive work environment based on a protected status (and religion is one of those). It would also be illegal for your boss to prevent you from being promoted based solely on the fact that you are a Christian in your religious faith. However, the fact that your boss has said he doesn’t like Christians or any other religion, doesn’t necessarily make your workplace hostile. “Severe and pervasive” would describe unprovoked, very frequent negative remarks or other actions, focused specifically on your faith.

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