Eid al-Adha: Your Rights Against Religious Discrimination At Work
June 29, 2023
In honor of Eid al-Adha, we would like to share some important reminders about how to protect yourself against religious discrimination in the workplace.
Federal and state laws prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace. It is illegal for your employer to base any decisions related to hiring, firing, layoffs, pay, bonuses, and other important aspects of your employment based on the religion you practice.
Standing Up for Your Rights
According to a report by the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 71% of Muslim New Yorkers, 64% of Jewish New Yorkers, and 79% of Sikh New Yorkers don’t report religious discrimination when it happens.
We understand it can sometimes feel difficult to speak out against discrimination. For this reason, it is important to know your rights. Having the power of knowledge may afford you the courage to stand up for yourself against unlawful conduct. In that spirit, here are some important things to know:
All employees have the right to what we call reasonable accommodation. This means that your employer is required to make reasonable changes that allow you to observe and practice your religion.
Examples of reasonable accommodation can include:
• Time off for religious holidays
• Altering adherence to dress codes
• Planning your work schedule around your religious practices
Your employer cannot refuse to reasonably accommodate you unless they first make an effort to reasonably accommodate you. Refusal to accommodate can only take place if adhering to your request would cause your employer an “undue hardship,” which must be something more significant than a small expense.
How to Take Action
If you are experiencing religious discrimination in the workplace, it is important to take concrete steps to protect yourself:
• Keep a Record: Be sure to keep detailed documentation of each instance of unlawful conduct. Keep your notes at home rather than on your work desk or computer. When keeping record, always note the following key elements:
- What happened
- What was said
- Where and when it happened (including the time and date)
- How it made you feel
- Whether or not you filed a formal complaint
• File a Complaint: With each instance of unlawful conduct, be sure to file a formal complaint with the appropriate entity at your workplace, such as Human Resources. Keep a copy of everything you submit, including your employer’s responses.
• Know Your Deadlines: Consult with an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you are not missing any deadlines or statute of limitations periods.
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for speaking out against religious discrimination. If you have been fired, demoted, laid off, or received a wage cut after filing a religious discrimination complaint, consult an experienced religious discrimination lawyer right away.
Protecting You Against Religious Discrimination is Important to Us
At Filippatos PLLC, we fight hard to ensure that all employees have the ability to faithfully observe their religious beliefs. It is both unlawful and unjust for an employer to fire, harass or treat someone differently based on their religious beliefs.
If you are interested in learning more, please visit our page on religious discrimination in the workplace.
On behalf of all of us at Filippatos PLLC, Eid Al-Adha Mubarak! We wish all who celebrate a joyous day.
We at Filippatos PLLC believe that all people deserve the right to exist freely, no matter their religious beliefs. If you are experiencing discrimination at work due to your religion, please give us a call at 888-9-JOBLAW for a free consultation. We will do our utmost to help secure you the justice you deserve.