Keep the Faith: Our Religious Discrimination Attorneys Will Fight for You!
The attorneys at Filippatos PLLC are dedicated to fighting for clients seeking to achieve fairness and justice in the workplace. Through tactical expertise and strategic thinking, we’re able to advocate for you and win compassionate solutions for the religious discrimination you’re suffering. Every person deserves to feel safe and welcome in the workplace, regardless of their religious affiliations or beliefs.
We know these situations often present challenges in other areas of your life, but we are well-versed in these types of cases and know what we’re up against. Our firm has a team of dedicated professionals who will work tirelessly when you and your family are dealing with unfair and unlawful treatment in the workplace. The legal team at Filippatos PLLC is extensively experienced in resolving employment disputes [hyperlink] and pursuing litigation regarding discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on:
- Racial harassment
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Sexual harassment
- Physical or mental disability
- Protected leave status in the workplace
If your employer is interfering with your right to practice your religion, reach out to us for a free consultation.
What is Religious Discrimination in the Workplace?
Federal and state laws prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace so employees can faithfully practice and observe their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, not all employers are interested in adhering to these laws for their employees. Fitting religious practices into your daily life, specifically the workplace, can be challenging. However, your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations for your religious observances.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation where your employer isn’t making reasonable accommodations for your religious observation, or treating you negatively because of your religious beliefs, you may be entitled to recover damages, especially if your employer made an adverse decision against you due to your religion. If you think you have a basis for a religious discrimination case, you should consult the religious discrimination attorneys at Filippatos PLLC.
Federal Laws Prohibiting Religious Discrimination at Work
Discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on your religion is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. Title VII prohibits religious discrimination when an employer has at least 15 employees. The New York State Human Rights Law protects people who work for an employer that has a minimum of four employees. These laws prohibit harassment in the workplace based on your religion as a form of discrimination. Because there are several differences between these laws, it’s important to consult with a professional legal team to figure out which law would provide a better solution for your specific situation.
It’ very important to know your rights! Simply put, your employer isn’t allowed to base any decisions related to hiring, firing, layoffs, pay, bonuses, and other important aspects of your employment based on the religion you practice. Additionally, your workplace should provide a reasonable accommodation for your religious practices unless doing so would cause it an undue hardship.
Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Observation
Employers should be making “reasonable accommodations” in the workplace that permit changes to be made to allow you to observe and practice your religion. Your employer should accommodate you if you ask for time off for a religious holiday or you ask to alter your grooming as a religious accommodation. Some additional examples include alterations to:
- Work schedules
- Work policies
- Grooming policies
- Dress codes
For example, if you are Sikh and wear a turban, but your employer’s policy doesn’t permit head coverings on the job, a reasonable accommodation might be to allow you to wear your turban while working. Your employer can’t refuse to accommodate your religious beliefs unless they first make an effort to accommodate you. Any undue hardship for your employer based on making these reasonable accommodations needs to be more significant than a small expense.
Discrimination Based on Your Religion is Wrong & Illegal
It is morally wrong and unlawful to treat an employee differently due to their religious beliefs or practices. Firing, harassing, or treating an individual differently than other employees in the workplace unfair and unjust and – most important – can form the basis for a religious discrimination, harassment, or retaliation case.
Religious discrimination can be defined in various ways. For instance, when an individual is harassed or treated badly differently because he or she has a different religious background than the employer or decisionmaker. Another form of religious discrimination is when an individual is teased or taunted for not having any religious beliefs at all, such as atheism or agnosticism. Examples of religious Discrimination include:
- When an employee who identifies as an atheist informs his supervisor about his religious beliefs and is fired shortly after because of his beliefs.
- When employees are harassed because they’re wearing religious pieces of clothing such as a turban, headscarves, etc.
- When an employee has a religious event which he or she must attend and is willing to trade shifts or make up the work at any other time, but the employer refuses to accommodate the arrangement to make up the work.
Steps to Take if You’re Facing Religious Discrimination
- Develop a Strategy: Each religious discrimination case is different. The legal team at Filippatos PLLC understands the importance of speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to develop and present the strongest case in the most appropriate manner. We will explain your options to you, as well as the strength of your case and the benefits and risks of fighting it.
- Keep a Record: If you’re experiencing religious discrimination at work, it’s important to keep track of every instance of unlawful harassment. Include what happened, what was said, what time, where, how it made you feel, and whether you made a formal complaint about it to your employer. It’s important to remember these documents could be viewed by your employer if a lawsuit is carried out, so be cautious and make sure you keep your notes at home rather than on your work computer or at work.
- File a Complaint: Does your company have a human resources department or a formal complaint process? You should file a formal complaint if you believe you’re a victim of religious discrimination and keep a copy of everything you submit, as well as their responses regarding your complaint.
- Know Your Deadlines: If you believe you’re experiencing religious discrimination at work, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer immediately to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines or statute of limitations periods.
Call Filippatos PLLC Today for a Free Consultation
Navigating employment laws can be difficult. The legal experts at Filippatos PLLC work with clients each step of the way to help them understand their rights and advise on the best course of action. We know employment laws can seem challenging and intimidating, but we’ve helped many clients resolve their employment disputes, including wrongful terminations [hyperlinks], over the years with our extensive knowledge and expertise surrounding religious discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. If you’re in need of a religious discrimination lawyer in White Plains, NY, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.