Our country was founded on the basis of religious freedom. So, it’s pretty alarming when you are hassled in your workplace because of your religion or your beliefs. You should have the same rights as your fellow employees, regardless of your religious preferences.
Unfortunately, a lot of employees find that they are discriminated against based on their religious views. Gary Falkowitz is a New York City religious discrimination lawyer that understands the severity of this matter. You shouldn’t have to deal with issues at work because of your personal beliefs. If you are being targeted, it’s time to fight back. Contact us today, and we can go over your options.
What’s Religious Discrimination?
If an employee is treated differently because of their religious preference, then that’s an example of religious discrimination. Most people think that religion needs to be a specific practice, but it could just be your spiritual beliefs. So, atheists and agnostics can be victims of religious discrimination too.
Your employer could choose not to hire you because of what you believe. You could also face demotion, job changes, or be forced to quit based on your religious preference. There are also instances where employees receive less in wages because of their religion.
Some discrimination occurs because off the way that you dress. If you look like you are a Muslim, your employer could choose not to hire you for that reason. Either way, being treated differently based on your religious association is illegal. You are allowed to believe whatever you want, and you should receive the same rights as your fellow employees.
What are the types of religious discrimination is found in the workplace?
There are several ways that you can define discrimination in the workplace. Some types of religious discrimination are subtle while others are more direct. Below are a few of the most common:
Disparate Treatment: The definition of disparate treatment is not being treated equally with your employees or other applicants based on your religious beliefs. So, this can occur during the hiring process or during the term of your employment.
Failing to Provide Religious Accommodations: Our laws require that your workplace honor your religious beliefs. This must be a reasonable accommodation, as your religious needs aren’t allowed to become an “undue hardship” for your company. For example, if you need breaks to pray during the day this can end up being a hardship for your employer. However, according to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, your employer must provide a place for you to pray. Consequently, your employer does not have to pay you for these prayer breaks.
Harassment Based on Religious Preference: Your employer or fellow employees are not allowed to harass you based on your religious choices. If your employment requires you to change your religion because of employment, that’s illegal. Many victims of discrimination will find themselves trapped in hostile work environments. They fear that reporting the harassment will make everything worse, so they’ll just quit. You should contact a lawyer before making any drastic decisions at work.
What are religious accommodations at work?
As we mentioned earlier, your employer must provide religious accommodations for you in the workplace. What does this mean for you? Your employer must make adjustments to your workplace so that you can practice your religion. If your religion requires you to observe certain religious holidays, your employment must let you adjust your schedule, swap shifts, or take the time off.
However, if taking time off would provide an “undue hardship” to your employer then they don’t have to accommodate you. For example, if you work for a small company, it might be difficult to take days off. This can be a very tricky situation, which is why you need an expert in religious discrimination to help you through these issues.
Your dress code policy is another area where your employer might have to make accommodations. If your religion is conservative, you might not be allowed to wear pants or shorts at work. Your company will need to come up with an alternative for you to wear that is in line with your religious preferences.
Your employer does not have to provide these accommodations for you if it is going to put them at a hardship. Courts will determine if there is an undue hardship based on the number of employees in the workplace, type of workplace, your duties, and how much the accommodations will cost the company.
We find that there are many instances where an employer will refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious preferences of their employees. In fact, some employers will intentionally interfere with the religious practices of their employees. Getting a religious discrimination lawyer’s consult can help improve your workplace and your quality of life. Nobody should have to suffer at their job because they are being discriminated against because of their religious choices.
Can I be fired because of my religion?
No! We can’t stress this fact enough. An employer cannot fire you based off of your religious beliefs. If you feel like you are being treated unfairly in your workplace because of your religious preferences, you need to contact us as soon as possible.
Can there be religious discrimination in hiring?
No. An employer must treat each applicant the same way, regardless of their beliefs. If an employer doesn’t hire you because they found out your religious background, then this is illegal. If you’re asked about your religion during an interview, then you’re not hired, you could be facing religious discrimination.
If a potential employer doesn’t have a valid reason why you weren’t hired, you should contact a religious discrimination lawyer. An experienced lawyer can explain what your rights are during the hiring process and while working in the workplace.
What are some common examples of religious discrimination at work?
You apply for a job, but then you are rejected for a less experienced applicant because you are an atheist. Your employer is devoutly Christian, and they only want to hire Christian applicants. They can’t hire off of religious beliefs.
You wear a turban as part of your religious beliefs, and your employer states you must remove the turban at work as it violates their dress code policy.
You are Jewish and you are required to work on Saturdays even though you need to take this day off to worship.
You have colleagues in the workplace that make fun of your religion or your choices. Some of these instances turn from jokes into serious harassment and hostile work environments.
You’re Muslim and you wear a hijab, but your employer does not allow you to wear your hijab at work. They think your hijab will make customers uncomfortable.
Workplace discrimination can take many forms, and all are illegal.
Your workplace should be an environment where you can thrive with your fellow employees, regardless of differences. Anytime your workplace turns into a hostile environment because of discrimination, it’s not ok. You shouldn’t just live in a negative environment because you’re afraid to speak out.
If you feel like you are being targeted at work you should reach out to a professional. You need a religious discrimination lawyer that can effectively handle your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We know what it takes to win these discrimination lawsuits.