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Faith At Workplace: Ensuring Protection For Person’s Religious Beliefs And Combating Religion Discrimination

Faith At Workplace: Ensuring Protection For Person's Religious Beliefs And Combating Religion Discrimination

The United States has the distinction of being the first explicitly secular country in modern history. Founded on the ideals of individual rights, liberties, and freedom, the US represents the secular ideal of the separation of church and state.

Over the years, many state and federal laws have been enacted to protect the rights and liberties of people belonging to all religions and faiths in the country. Sadly, religious minorities are still discriminated against in workplaces across the country.

If you have been discriminated against or harassed at the workplace because of your religious beliefs, you have the right to take legal action against your employer. The New York religious discrimination lawyers at Levine & Blit can protect your religious rights at the workplace and make sure you are sufficiently compensated for the opportunities you were denied and the benefits you were deprived of due to your faith. Contact us today at 646-461-6838 to talk to one of our top-rated New York religious discrimination lawyers.

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Understanding Workplace Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination involves treating an employee unfairly or unfavorably due to their religious beliefs or practices. The different forms of workplace religious discrimination include:

  • Not hiring certain applicants due to their religious beliefs
  • Offering lower compensation to certain employees due to their religious beliefs
  • Denying promotions, pay raises, performance bonuses, incentives, commissions, and other employment-related benefits
  • Making insensitive, offensive, or derogatory remarks about an employee’s religious beliefs or practices
  • Attributing negative characteristics to people belonging to a particular religion or faith
  • Bullying employees belonging to a particular religious group by calling them names, using slurs, and harassing them for their religious beliefs or practices
  • Preventing employees from wearing their religious dress outright or instituting a policy that bans specific religious clothes and accessories
  • Forcing employees belonging to a different faith to observe the employer’s religious practice
  • Preventing employees from taking time to observe their religious practices and holy days
  • Taking adverse action against employees who complain of religious discrimination

Legal Protections Available for Employees against Religious Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers in private industry as well as government agencies from discriminating against individuals due to their sincerely held religious beliefs and practices. It also requires employers to accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of their employees to a reasonable extent – except in cases where doing so might cause undue hardship to the employer.

It is important to note that the aforementioned legal protection is not limited to practitioners of organized religions. The definition of religious beliefs under the Civil Rights Act is extremely broad and includes non-theistic moral and ethical views as well.

Apart from federal civil rights laws, individual states have also enacted several laws to protect workers against unlawful religious discrimination. New York has enacted the Human Rights Law and California has enacted the Fair Employment and Housing Act to protect employees in private industry as well as in government employment against religious discrimination.

It should be noted that political beliefs are not covered under the Civil Rights Act or any state law. At the same time, employers cannot use an employee’s political beliefs as a pretext or excuse to discriminate against them based on their religion or faith even though this does happen.

How Workplace Religious Discrimination Can Affect Employees

Religious discrimination – at a systemic level as well as on an individual level – can have an adverse impact on employees. It can affect their self-esteem and self-worth, cause them to doubt their abilities, impact their productivity, and prevent them from achieving their full potential.

Moreover, if certain employees feel excluded due to their religious beliefs, they might not be able to bond with other employees and work as a team. It can have a detrimental impact on the overall productivity and efficiency of the team.

Religious discrimination in workplaces can also affect the mental and physical health of employees. Employees who are subjected to discrimination, mistreatment, and harassment due to their religious faith are at risk of developing a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, mood swings, eating disorders, hypertension, heart disease, and chronic illnesses.

Legal Remedies Available for Victims of Workplace Religious Discrimination

If you have been discriminated against at work due to your religious beliefs, you can and should speak up for your rights.

The first step you need to take is to inform your supervisor, someone at the HR department, or any other person – depending on your company’s anti-discrimination complaint policy. If they fail to take any action, you should contact an experienced New York employment discrimination attorney immediately.

Your attorney can help you file a complaint against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If your issue is not resolved or if the EEOC gives you permission to sue your employer, your attorney can help you file a claim against your employer to recover the employment-related benefits as well as the monetary compensation you are entitled to under state and federal law.

Apart from getting the promotions and other benefits you were denied, you can also recover compensatory damages for the pain and suffering, and emotional harm caused by your employer’s discriminatory attitude and actions.

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Contact Our Experienced New York Religious Discrimination Attorneys Today

At Levine & Blit, we believe that employees with varied religious beliefs should be respected for who they are and what they believe in. If you are a victim of workplace religious discrimination, we can provide you with the legal assistance you need to hold your employer accountable for violating your constitutional rights and get the justice you deserve.

We have more than 100 years of combined experience in handling employment discrimination claims and have represented individuals belonging to different faiths. We can help you file a complaint against your employer and sue them if necessary to get you the employment-related benefits you were denied and the monetary damages you are entitled to.

Call us today at 646-461-6838 or use our online contact form to schedule a Free Case Evaluation with one of our seasoned New York religious discrimination attorneys.

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