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Queens, New York Religious Discrimination Attorneys

Your Religious Beliefs Can and Should Be Accommodated in Your Workplace

The First Amendment grants us the right to practice the religion of our choice. Within each religion, there are varying degrees of belief and practice of faith that employers need to consider when you request that you be permitted to follow your faith. Some religions have strict laws about covering heads or not cutting hair. Others require prayer at certain times of the day or on certain days of the week. Employers must make allowances for these beliefs so long as it doesn’t unduly interfere with your performance or disrupt the work environment.

You also have the right to work in an environment free of harassment about your religion. Different sects of many religions come into conflict with each other and whether it is between superior and subordinate or between co-workers, inappropriate comments, slurs, and hostility are reasons for action against the perpetrator. If you report this harassment, you should also be free from retaliation for doing so.

Our attorneys respect your deeply held beliefs as well as your rights as an employee and want to help you preserve both. If you feel that your religious beliefs are not being accommodated by your employer, come in and tell us your story. We will take the time to listen and understand what you are going through. We will be able to see how the discrimination is taking place, and we can help you determine what actions you want to take going forward, including filing a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Examples of Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Any action that targets an individual or group because of their religious affiliation or practices and harms their ability to perform daily job tasks or advance in their career may be deemed to be an act of religious discrimination. This includes denying individuals reasonable accommodations to perform their jobs while following their religions’ requirements.

Religious discrimination can take many forms. It includes harassment of individuals based on their affiliation with a religion, refusal to hire or promote individuals of a certain religion or those who do not follow a specific religion, the singling out of individuals for layoffs or unbalanced disciplinary measures because of their religion, and the segregation of individuals in the workplace according to their religion. Religious discrimination can be committed against an individual based on his or her perceived religion as well. For example, a Sikh individual might be incorrectly assumed to be Muslim and face discrimination based on this assumption.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

Reasonable accommodations are the steps a company must take to make a position equally accessible for all employees covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These steps must not impose an undue financial, safety, or physical burden on the company or its other employees.

  • Reasonable accommodations based on an employee’s religious needs may include:
  • Allowing an employee to take time off on religious holidays;
  • Permitting the employee to alter his or her uniform to allow for religious garments, such as head coverings;
  • Modification of job duties to allow for an employee’s religious convictions;
  • Permitting the employee to take prayer breaks during the workday; and
  • Altering the company’s grooming requirements to allow for religious expressions, such as bears or hair length.

Under Title VII, all religious must be treated equally. If a Christian employee is permitted to take time off to attend a special church service, a Wiccan or Jewish employee must have the same right.

Filing a Complaint with the EEOC

If you face any form of religious discrimination in the workplace, you have the right to file a workplace discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Document the date, time, and nature of each instance of religious discrimination you experience. These instances might include off-hand remarks about your lifestyle or practices or the use of slurs in the workplace. Other instances of discrimination might include being denied a promotion despite being more qualified than the individual chosen for the new position. Before filing an EEOC claim, speak with your supervisor and your company’s Human Resources department about your experiences. Document these interactions as well because if you do file a claim, they too will be important pieces of evidence.

Through its investigation of your workplace, the EEOC might find that discrimination occurred and facilitate a settlement between you and the company. If it does not, you have the option to file a discrimination lawsuit.

Read our religious discrimination FAQ.

Contact our religious discrimination attorneys at 800-240-9269 to talk about your situation.

Find A New York Religion & Harassment Work Lawyers Near You

Religious discrimination is much more common with new populations immigrating to the U.S. and tensions between their nations and ours. Assumptions that are made based on religion can affect hiring and promotion decisions. People who are of the same religion, but of different sects can also discriminate against one another because of deeply seated biases against each other.

Your job is just as important to you as your religion, so you shouldn’t be prevented from having either. Our law firm will aggressively protect your religious freedom and help bring your case to a successful resolution, even if it means going all the way to court.

Call Ricotta & Marks, P.C., at 800-240-9269 or send us an e-mail to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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Ricotta & Marks, P.C.
1 Old Country Road, Suite 347
Carle Place, NY 11514

Toll Free: 800-240-9269
Fax: 800-483-4508
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