White Plains Religious Discrimination Lawyers
The U.S. was founded on principles of religious liberty, and both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of religious belief. Unfortunately, religious discrimination has not disappeared in the U.S. or in New York, and it can take subtle forms. If you believe you are targeted because of your faith, contact Carey & Associates, P.C. Our White Plains religious discrimination lawyers will review your case and provide frank advice about your chances of seeking compensation.
Religious Discrimination in Employment
It is illegal for an employer to take any negative employment action based on your religion or lack of religion (such as atheism). These prohibited acts include termination, refusal to hire or promote, and denial of training opportunities, among others. Here are some common examples:
- An employer is eager to interview you, but when you show up wearing a hijab, the employer says he isn’t interested in hiring a Muslim.
- An employer refuses to promote you because they don’t want an atheist in a key position in the company.
- Your employer lays off 10% of the workforce, and you notice that all are avowed born-again Christians.
Sometimes, religious discrimination is more subtle. An employer might admit to a discriminatory motive only in private or in email. In face-to-face discussions, they give a “neutral” non-religious reason, such as thinking you aren’t qualified for the job.
But if an employer used your religion as a reason to take a negative action, you might have a legal claim. Contact one of our White Plains religious discrimination lawyers for a case analysis.
Failure to Accommodate
State and federal law also require that employers accommodate someone for religious reasons. Many workers are fully qualified to perform a job, but they need some minor adjustment, such as:
- Relaxing a dress code to allow head coverings or other religious garb
- Providing a short amount of time for someone to pray during work hours
- Rearranging duties so a worker does not violate religious beliefs
- Allowing time off for religious holidays
An employer does not have to agree to an accommodation that would create an “undue hardship.” For example, a restaurant does not have to stop serving alcohol because it offends a worker’s religious beliefs. A family planning clinic does not need to suspend operations because a worker finds birth control offensive. Many employers automatically claim that any accommodation is burdensome, but we can provide an objective analysis.
Harassment Based on Religion
Harassment is a type of workplace discrimination. A workplace can become hostile because of negative images, words, or actions from coworkers, as well as supervisors. Some types of harassing behavior include:
- Offensive images
- Negative generalizations about a group (“all Mormons are X”)
- Physical violence motivated by your religion or lack thereof
One off-hand joke or offensive comment is unlikely to make a workplace hostile, but ongoing harassment can.
There is a misconception that harassment must be so severe that you are driven to the point of quitting. That’s not true. You have a legal claim for religious harassment if a reasonable person would find the environment hostile.
It is also against the law to retaliate against anyone who reports religious discrimination or harassment. For example, you might see a coworker harassed due to their religious beliefs. You report it to the CEO of your company, and your supervisor fired you in response. This is patently illegal, and you can sue.
Remedies for Religious Discrimination
The good news is that anyone who has faced discrimination can seek certain remedies. At Carey & Associates, we will gladly discuss what remedies you have available, including:
- Job reinstatement or promotion
- Back pay or lost wages
- Emotional distress damages
- Attorneys’ fees
- Other remedies
If you are part of a group who suffered religious discrimination, we might pursue a class action for these claims.
What to Do if You Suspect Religious Discrimination
The most important thing to do is gather as much evidence as you can. For example, save any of the following:
- Job performance reviews
- Emails or notes containing religious slurs or offensive comments
- Copies of any cartoons or offensive visual images shared at work or posted in a public place
- A list of witnesses who observed offensive conduct at work, such as someone calling you a slur
- Any medical care you received to help you deal with the stress
Contact Our White Plains Religious Discrimination Lawyers Today
No one should tolerate religious discrimination in America. Speak up—and contact Carey & Associates to schedule a confidential meeting with a member of our office. Call today, (914) 705-5427.
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Mark and his team at Carey & Associates are incredibly knowledgeable about Employment Law and have walked me through every step of the way. Their approach and guidance has been extremely effective in dealing with my case. They instill a sense of confidence by laying out the facts, caselaw, and risk assessment to help make well informed decisions. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an Employment Attorney.
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