Religious Discrimination

Employment laws protect your right to practice your religion. If your employer is discriminating against you based on your religion or refusing to make reasonable accommodations for your religious beliefs, you should contact the New York religious discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates.

Under federal, state, and local law, your religious beliefs have substantial protections in the workplace. Religion in the employment setting includes not only established religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism, but also sincerely held ethical, personal, or religious beliefs. Employers are not allowed to discriminate based on religion, which means that employers cannot refuse to hire, deny promotions, fire people, or take other adverse employment actions that are driven by animosity towards an individual’s religion. Company policies that have the effect of discriminating against all people of a particular religion may also be found to violate the law.

Sometimes religious discrimination claims are based on a hostile work environment. Where individuals are singled out and repeatedly harassed or subjected to disparaging remarks based on their religion, a hostile work environment may exist. Harassment of this sort does not need to be done by management; co-workers or even customers can create a hostile environment where management does nothing to address a known problem. Derogatory remarks about “ragheads,” “Bible thumpers” and the like are evidence that a hostile work environment may be present.

EMPLOYERS MUST PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

Accommodations are often at issue in religious discrimination cases. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees’ religious practices, but do not need to provide accommodations where it would create an undue hardship for the employer. Sometimes practices that are impermissible to someone of a particular religion are required by an employer, such as working on the Sabbath, wearing cocktail dresses or other particular attire, or requiring grooming of facial hair. Sometimes these are bona fide qualifications of the job that the employer is entitled to require, but in other cases there are accommodations that can easily be made without any detriment to the employer. Accommodation issues also often arise with scheduling around particular religious observances.

Under the federal Civil Rights Act, an undue hardship for purposes of accommodation is interpreted to mean anything that has more than a minimal cost to the employer. New York City’s Human Rights Law was recently amended to strengthen the definition of undue hardship. A proposed accommodation will be found to work an undue hardship under New York City law only if it requires significant expense or difficulty to the employer. This standard should make for more reasonable accommodations of religious practices by employers in New York City.

CONTACT NEW YORK RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION ATTORNEYS PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES

If your employer refuses to provide you with a reasonable accommodation of your religious beliefs, or you are subjected to harassment or discrimination based on your religion, you should consult with the New York religious discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates. We understand the sensitive nature of religious issues in the workplace. While you may not want your religion to interfere with your work, you should not have to compromise your beliefs in order to fit in with your employer. Contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation at (212) 248-7431.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway, Suite 620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107
info@tpglaws.com
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