Religious Discrimination Attorneys in Long Island Protecting Your Rights
Long Island workplaces should strive for diversity and inclusion, which requires adherence to federal and state laws protecting against religious discrimination at the very minimum. You have a right to be free from religious discrimination at every phase of the employment process, from applying for a job, to seeking a promotion, to termination.If you believe you have been the target of religious discrimination in the workplace, or if your workplace is unsafe due to the pervasiveness of religious discrimination and intolerance, you may be able to file a claim. One of the dedicated religious discrimination attorneys in Long Island at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can begin working on your case today.
As a Long Island employee, you should know that you have religious rights in the workplace. Both federal and state law protect you from religious discrimination, which can range from harassment on the basis of your religion to an employer’s unlawful refusal to grant you a religious accommodation.
What Constitutes Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination in the workplace can take many different forms, and it is prohibited by federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and by the New York State Human Rights Law.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that, in its most basic form, religious discrimination simply means treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s religious beliefs or that person’s association with someone of a particular religious belief. It is critical to know that religious discrimination is unlawful whether a person is targeted because of his or her belief in a traditionally recognized, organized religion or because of the person’s sincerely held belief in another religion or religious practice that is not part of traditional organized religion.
Long Island Employees May Be Entitled to Religious Accommodations
In some cases, an employer’s failure to provide religious accommodations may be a form of religious discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC clarifies that federal law requires employers to “reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer’s business.”
To be clear, an employer can be required to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee so that the employee can practice his or her religion. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include but are not limited to the following:
- Changes to an employee’s schedule;
- Providing an employee with a dress code exception;
- Designating a work location for prayer; or
- Minor changes to job requirements.
In addition to reasonable accommodations, New York law also requires employers to allow workers time off to observe holy days unless that time off would cause undue hardship to the employer. In such cases, the burden is on the employer to prove that the employee’s request for accommodation or for holy day allowances is an undue hardship under the law.
Harassment on the Basis of Religious is Unlawful in a Long Island Work Environment
Harassment due to a person’s religion is a form of discrimination, and it is unlawful when it rises to the level of creating a hostile work environment. To be clear, the law does not protect against offhand remarks about religion that are offensive or isolated incidents in most cases. In order for religious harassment to be unlawful under federal law, the EEOC explains that the harassment must be “so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision.”
You should know that multiple people can be responsible for religious harassment, including but not limited to:
- Customer; or
Harassment is also distinct from some other types of religious discrimination claims in that the person who files a claim does not necessarily need to be the person who is targeted by the harassment. Indeed, in many instances of workplace harassment, another employee who is impacted by the hostile work environment may be eligible to file a claim.
Contact Ricotta & Marks’ Long Island Religious Discrimination Attorneys in Long Island
No employee on Long Island should ever be subject to religious discrimination in the workplace. Whether you have faced discrimination because of your own religious beliefs or your marriage to a person with sincerely held religious beliefs, you may be able to take action. An experienced Long Island religious discrimination lawyer at our firm can assess your case today and can help you to consider your options. Contact Ricotta & Marks, PC today or call our firm at 347-464-8694 to learn more about how we can help you with your case.