Nassau County Religious Discrimination

Attorneys Advocating for the Workplace Rights of Nassau County Employees

Around two-thirds of the people in Nassau County affiliate with a religion. The religion with which a slight majority identify is Catholicism. Other religions with which people identify include LDS, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Religious discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer makes an adverse employment decision with regard to a job applicant or an employee based on their religious beliefs or religion rather than their skills and performance. It is unlawful for employers to engage in religious discrimination under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New York State Human Rights Law. At Phillips & Associates, our Nassau County religious discrimination lawyers may be able to represent you with regard to a federal or state lawsuit for damages based on religious discrimination in the workplace.

Religious Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law forbidding religious discrimination in the workplace. It applies to employers with at least 15 employees. Discrimination can include taking any adverse employment action, including failing to hire a qualified applicant, failing to promote a qualified employee, or terminating a qualified employee due to their sincerely held religious beliefs or practices.

Discrimination can also include refusing to accommodate an employee's sincerely held religious views or practices, except when the employer would face an undue hardship from providing the accommodation. Religious practices can be sincerely held, even if they are new or if they vary from traditionally followed practices within the religion. Moreover, covered employers are supposed to be aware that Title VII defines religion broadly to include organized religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, in addition to newer religions or beliefs that are held by a very small group of people. The issue is whether the employee's reason for a practice is religious rather than simply a part of an economic, political, or social philosophy. Our religious discrimination attorneys can advise Nassau County residents on where this line might be drawn.

Religious-based reasonable accommodations can include any alteration to the workplace or how things are done, or policies, so that someone can do their job. For example, an employer who normally requires that employees not wear any covering on their heads in the workplace might need to provide a reasonable accommodation for a Muslim woman who wears a hijab or an Orthodox Jewish man who wears a yarmulke by providing an exception to the general dress code. Another type of reasonable accommodation might be allowing a Jewish employee to switch shifts to avoid working on the Sabbath or allowing a Catholic employee to alter their work schedule to go to church services on Good Friday.

An undue hardship is a burden on the company that is more than a minimal expense. For example, your employer might face an undue hardship if the accommodation causes there to be insufficient staff or if safety is jeopardized. Our Nassau County religious discrimination attorneys can assist you if an employer unfairly raises this defense. Sometimes an employee cannot be accommodated in a present position, but it is possible to accommodate them in a vacant position.

State Law

The New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits religious discrimination, and it protects employees whose employers have at least four employees. There are some differences between the remedies available for religious discrimination, including harassment, under federal and state laws. There are caps for damages under Title VII based on the size of the employer. For example, if your employer has at least 201,000 employees, the cap is $200,000 for compensatory damages. There are no caps under state law, but you cannot get punitive damages under state law. It is wise to consult and retain an experienced litigator who can pursue an appropriate strategy to recover damages.

Hire a Knowledgeable Religious Discrimination Lawyer in Nassau County

At Phillips & Associates, we are ready to evaluate your situation to determine whether you have a basis to sue for religious discrimination, or any other form of discrimination, and we can represent you if appropriate. Call us at (516) 365-3731 or set up a free appointment online. We do not charge upfront fees and only recover fees from a settlement or verdict in your favor.

1129 Northern Boulevard, 4th Floor,
Manhasset, NY 11030
Tel: 516-365-3731
Fax: 212-901-2107
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