25 And if some complainants make these claims, some fact-finders may well agree: Religious Speech: If some complainants make these claims, some fact-finders may well agree. or privileges of employment" based on, among other things, "political orientation"); Seattle, Wash., Code § 14.004.0040 (1986) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, . A state court has in fact found that it was religious harassment for an employer to put religious articles in its employee newsletter and Christian-themed verses on its paychecks. or privileges of employment" -- including harassing speech -- based on "political affiliation"); Lansing, Mich. 296.03(2) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .
Likewise, a hostile work environment can be considered the "adverse employment action" that is an element of a whistleblower claim or a reprisal (retaliation) claim under a civil rights statute.
26 The EEOC likewise found that a claim that an employer "permitted the daily broadcast of prayers over the public address system" over the span of a year was "sufficient to allege the existence of a hostile working environment predicated on religious discrimination." 27 A recent article by two employment lawyers gives "repeated, unwanted `preaching´ episodes [by a fundamentalist Christian employee] that offend coworkers and adversely affect their working conditions" as a "bright-line example" of actionable harassment; an employer in such a situation would be "well advised to take swift remedial action." 28 If polite religious proselytizing can be harassment, then of course harsher criticism of religion would be, too. 1988) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .
In the EEOC's words, "disparag[ing] the religion or beliefs of others" in the workplace may be illegal; "a Christian employee would have recourse under Title VII if a `secular humanist´ employer" -- or presumably secular humanist coworkers -- "engaged in a pattern of ridiculing the employee's religious beliefs.´" 29 A state administrative agency has found that an employee was religiously harassed by a Seventh Day Adventist coworker who often talked about religion to everyone.
Where a hostile environment is alleged, the legality of behaviors must be determined on a case by case basis.
In the workplace, such a claim focuses on the working conditions that must be endured by the victim as a condition of employment, rather than on tangible job changes.
It does not require that the speech be profanity or pornography, which some have considered "low value." 17 Under the definition, it is eminently possible for political, religious, or social commentary, or "legitimate" art, to be punished. Chicago National League Ball Club, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, No. 4, 1993) (ticket scalper who was spoken to rudely because of his occupation stated a claim under Chicago antidiscrimination law, which bars discrimination and harassment based on, among other things, "source of income"); City of Boston Code §§ 12-9.2, 12-9.3 (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" -- a phrase that has been interpreted to include harassing speech -- based on "source of income").