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Religious Discrimination

New York City Religious Discrimination Lawyers

As an employee, you expect to be treated based upon the quality of your work, not on your religion. However, even in this modern world, many employees face religious discrimination at the hands of their employers. If you have been subjected to religious discrimination in your New York City workplace, you deserve justice. Brown Kwon & Lam is here to serve.

What is religious discrimination?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), religious discrimination involves, “treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.”

When can you experience religious discrimination?

Religious discrimination goes beyond aspects of active employment. Others include:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Pay
  • Job assignments
  • Promotions
  • Layoff
  • Training
  • Fringe benefits

Religious discrimination is illegal in any other term or condition of employment. Religious discrimination includes:

  • Harassment: Offensive remarks about religious beliefs/practices which create a hostile work environment.
  • Segregation: If an employee wears religious garb or follows specific grooming practices, their employer cannot place them in non-customer contact roles because of actual or potential customer preferences.
  • Reasonable Accommodations: So long as it does not interfere with the business as a whole, employers must make reasonable efforts to create flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, and modifications to workplace policies or practices to allow for the practice of religion.
  • Dress & Grooming Policies: Unless it causes an undue burden on the business, employers should make reasonable accommodations for employees to wear the garb or groom as per their religious preferences. This includes not forcing uniforms on when someone has a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments such as pants or miniskirts. Examples of fashion that have religious exemption include:
    - A Jewish yarmulke
    - A Muslim headscarf
    - Rastafarian dreadlocks
    - Sikh uncut hair and beard

Though this is not all-encompassing. It is important to note that an employer does not have to make accommodations if it would cause undue hardship to the employer/business. Such burden may mean the accommodations:

  • Are costly
  • Compromise workplace safety
  • Decreases workplace efficiency
  • Infringes on the rights of other employees
  • Requires other employees to do more than their fair share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.

What laws protect employees from religious discrimination?

Both federal and state law protects employees from religious discrimination in New York City.

The New York City City Human Rights Law protects workers from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on actual or perceived religion or creed. It is illegal for employers, housing providers, business owners, and providers of public accommodations in New York City City to treat someone differently because of their faith.

In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits federal agencies from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment because of their religious beliefs in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Contact Our New York City Religious Discrimination Lawyers

Religious discrimination in the workplace can have a profound impact on employees, affecting their overall well-being, job satisfaction, and career advancement. It is important to understand the various ways in which religious discrimination can manifest and the potential consequences it can have on individuals.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Hostile Work Environment: Religious discrimination can create a hostile work environment, where an employee is subjected to offensive comments, derogatory jokes, or exclusionary behavior based on their religious beliefs or practices. This can lead to feelings of isolation, stress, and decreased productivity.
  • Unequal Treatment: Employees may experience unequal treatment due to their religion, such as being denied promotions, training opportunities, or desirable work assignments. This can hinder their professional growth and limit their career prospects.
  • Retaliation: Employees who speak up against religious discrimination may face retaliation from their employers or colleagues. This can include being demoted, transferred to less desirable positions, or even termination. Fear of retaliation often discourages individuals from reporting instances of discrimination.
  • Emotional and Psychological Impact: Religious discrimination can have a significant emotional and psychological toll on employees. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. The stress caused by discrimination can also spill over into personal life, affecting relationships and overall well-being.

At Brown Kwon & Lam, our experienced New York City religious discrimination attorneys understand the profound impact religious discrimination can have on individuals. We are dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you are treated fairly and respectfully in the workplace.

If you believe you have been a victim of religious discrimination, it is crucial to take action. Contact our New York City religious discrimination lawyer today to schedule a consultation and discuss your legal options. We are here to support you every step of the way.

Commonly Asked Religious Discrimination Questions

I’ve been discriminated against because of my religion/ religious practices. What should I do?

If you have been discriminated against in your New York City job because of your actual or perceived religion, you deserve justice. You deserve to be treated fairly, no matter what religious practice you abide by.

What is the deadline for filing a religious discrimination claim in New York City?

In New York City, the deadline for filing a religious discrimination claim with the NYC Commission on Human Rights is one year from the date of the incident. If you plan to file a claim with the EEOC, the deadline is 300 days from the date of the incident.

Can I be discriminated against for my perceived religion?

Yes, both federal and state laws protect employees from discrimination based on their actual or perceived religion. This means that if you are discriminated against because of a stereotype or assumption about your religion, you may still have a valid claim.

What kind of damages can I recover in a religious discrimination lawsuit?

If you win a religious discrimination lawsuit, you may be entitled to damages such as lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages. The amount of damages will depend on the specific facts of your case.

Can an employer deny me time off for religious holidays?

No, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee's religious practices, which can include time off for religious holidays. However, the accommodation must not cause an undue hardship on the employer.

What should I do if I am being harassed at work because of my religion?

If you are being harassed at work because of your religion, you should report it to your employer and document the incidents. If your employer does not take action to stop the harassment, you may have a valid claim for religious discrimination.

Helpful Resources

New York City Religious Discrimination Attorneys: Brown Kwon & Lam

If you are a victim of religious discrimination in your workplace and are in need of legal representation, do not hesitate to contact the New York employment discrimination attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam. We will fight for your rights.

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