Long Island Religious Discrimination
Long Island is made up of four counties. Catholics form the largest religious group on the island at 52%, followed by Jewish residents at 16% and Protestants at 7%. You are entitled to belong to any religion or hold any religious beliefs that you choose. If you suspect that your employer is engaging in discrimination against you, you should consult an experienced litigator. Both federal and state laws prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace. At Phillips & Associates, our Long Island religious discrimination lawyers may be able to help you recover damages for mistreatment in the workplace based on your religious beliefs.When Religious Discrimination Arises
Religious discrimination occurs if your employer takes an adverse employment action based on your religion, instead of based on your job performance. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers with at least 15 employees are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of religion or religious beliefs. The New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits religious discrimination, but it protects more workers because it applies to employers that have at least four employees.Reasonable Accommodations
Under Title VII, your employer is supposed to provide a reasonable accommodation for your religious beliefs and practices, unless providing it would present an undue hardship for your employer. Reasonable accommodations can include any alteration to the work environment or work practices, including schedules, shifts, policies, grooming, or a dress code that would allow you to practice your religion. For example, if you are Muslim and wear a hijab, but your employer has a policy against head coverings in the workplace, it might be appropriate for your employer to provide you with an accommodation whereby you can wear your hijab. If your employer denies you a reasonable accommodation even if it would not present an undue hardship, this may be religious discrimination, and you should consult a religious discrimination attorney on Long Island to determine whether you may have a claim.
The New York State Human Rights Law forbids employers from imposing terms or conditions that would mandate that an employee violate a sincerely held religious belief or practice in order to keep or get a job, except when the employer can show an undue hardship for its business. The state law requires employers to accommodate requests for leave for religious observance, as well as changes to the dress code, grooming, and time for prayer. Employers are not allowed to refuse to accommodate individuals' protected religious needs without first being involved in a bona fide effort to grant the accommodation. An employer can deny the accommodation only when an undue hardship is presented, and an undue hardship needs to be something more than simply an added cost. Instead, a significant expense or logistical challenge is required to show an undue hardship.Examples of Religious Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Title VII, defines "religion" to include any ethical or moral beliefs that are sincerely held. Religious discrimination can include discrimination against someone who is an atheist or an agnostic.
Religious discrimination can happen in connection with any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, demotions, assignments, pay, and harassment. A Long Island religious discrimination attorney could help you bring a claim, for example, if your Christian employer is planning to promote you but finds out that you are Jewish and then gives the promotion to someone else who is Christian.
Many larger companies will be careful to not outright tell you that they do not want to provide you with employment or a benefit of employment due to your religion. Religious harassment is one form of discrimination, and it includes any offensive conduct that creates a hostile work environment for a worker of a particular religious belief. It could include degrading jokes, remarks, or other verbal or physical conduct.Retaliation
Your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you for reporting what you believe in good faith to be religious discrimination. Even if a court disagrees with you and finds that what you initially experienced was not religious discrimination, an employer that takes an adverse action against you in response to your complaint could be liable for retaliation against you.Contact a Capable Religious Discrimination Lawyer on Long Island
At Phillips & Associates, we fight all forms of employer misconduct on Long Island, and we may be able to help you recover damages. We offer free consultations. There are no upfront fees and we accept cases on a contingency basis, so you will not be required to pay attorneys' fees unless we recover damages in your case. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or via our online form.
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