Is it legal for my employer to offer benefits only to Christian employees?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal for my employer to offer benefits only to Christian employees?

During my job interview I was told that he offered health benefits after 90 days. Once I was eligible, I had to approach him for about 2 months until finally he told me that he switched to a Christian ministries sharing plan and since I do not attend church and I smoke and drink, that I’m not eligible for it. Is that legal?

Asked on May 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is not even remotely legal. The law plainly states that employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of their religion--yet that is exactly what this employer is doing, in denying you benefits because you do not meet his religious criteria. You should contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a complaint--you are likely entitled to both have the benefits and to get compensation for being wrongly denied it. Here is a link to a helpful EEOC webpage; good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption