Are atheists protected from religious discrimination?
Employers may not discriminate against employees based on their religious beliefs -- or lack thereof.
I work for a family-owned company, and the founders belong to a local church. Several managers attend the same church, and they often talk about church functions at lunch. Recently, we had a lunchtime conversation about religion that may be coming back to haunt me. My manager was saying that he felt religion -- of any kind -- instills discipline, humility, and respect for authority in believers, which makes employees with a religious background better workers. I disagreed, saying that plenty of nonbelievers have these same qualities, and anyway there's a lot to be said for free thinking and taking responsbility for your own actions in the working environment, too. I thought it was a friendly conversation until my performance review last week. My manager rated me poorly in a few categories in which I thought I was doing well, and said, "not every employee is the right fit for this company. You might want to start considering whether you'd be happier somewhere else." Is this discrimination?