New York Religious Discrimination Lawyers
You deserve to feel safe and welcome in the workplace, regardless of your religious affiliations or beliefs.
Filippatos PLLC’s team of experienced religious discrimination attorneys is ready to hear your case and find the justice you deserve.888-9-JOBLAW
Federal and state laws prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace so employees can faithfully practice and observe their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, not all employers adhere to these laws.
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 your employer doesn’t reasonably accommodate your religious observation, or treats you negatively because of your religious beliefs, you could be entitled to compensation.
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.
If you ask for time off for a religious holiday, or you ask to alter your adherence to a dress code for religious purposes, your employer should accommodate you. 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 does not permit head coverings on the job, a reasonable accommodation might be to allow you to wear your turban while working.
Your employer cannot 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 must be more significant than a small expense.
Fighting Against Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
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 is important to consult with a professional legal team of religious discrimination attorneys to figure out which law would provide a better solution for your specific situation.
Simply put, your employer is not 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.
How to File a Religious Discrimination Claim
If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace due to your religious beliefs, you have the right to pursue legal action.
You should consider filing a written complaint with your supervisor or human resources department and keeping a copy for your records. Document each incident thoroughly, noting the time, date, place, and any witnesses.
You may also choose to file a religious discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is always best to obtain effective legal representation prior to filing a complaint with an administrative agency.
Religious discrimination claims should be filed within 180 days of the illegal action, although this deadline may be extended to 300 days in some cases. Additionally, you may file a local claim with the New York State Division of Human Rights or the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
You should always speak up about discrimination or harassment in your workplace. Once you file a formal complaint, you enjoy additional legal protections against retaliation. Remember, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a religious discrimination claim.
Damages to Recover from Religious Discrimination
If you have been a victim of religious discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, attorney’s fees, and punitive damages.
A court may order an employer to modify its existing policies or procedures in order to reasonably accommodate an employee’s legitimate religious beliefs or practices in the workplace.
We Are Here to Protect You from Religious Discrimination
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 is unfair and unjust, and 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 or differently because they have a different religious background than the employer or those who are in charge of making decisions.
Another example of religious discrimination could be an individual being teased or taunted for not having any religious beliefs at all, such as atheism or agnosticism.
Examples of religious discrimination in the workplace include:
- When an employee who identifies as an atheist informs their supervisor about their religious beliefs and is fired shortly after due to these beliefs.
- When employees are harassed because they are wearing religious pieces of clothing such as a turban, headscarves, or other types of religious clothing.
- When an employee has a religious event that they 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.
Steps to Take if You Face 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 religious discrimination lawyer 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. Contact us
- Keep a Record: If you’re experiencing religious discrimination at work, it is 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 is 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? If you believe you are a victim of religious discrimination, you should file a formal complaint and keep a copy of everything you submit, as well as their responses regarding your complaint.
- Know Your Deadlines: If you believe you are experiencing religious discrimination at work, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer immediately to ensure that you do not miss any deadlines or statute of limitations periods.
Filippatos PLLC is Dedicated to Protecting You Against Religious Discrimination
If your employer has failed to provide you with reasonable religious accommodations, or you were fired due to religious discrimination, please do not hesitate to contact us or call 888-9-JOBLAW.
We practice in New York, including the Greater Tri-State area of New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as Florida.
At Filippatos PLLC, we believe all individuals—from factory workers to boardroom executives—are entitled to fair pay and a workplace free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
Our team of experienced religious discrimination lawyers will fight hard to secure you the dignity, respect, and justice you deserve.
October 12, 2022