Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on religion in the workplace. Title VII lawsuits are complex and fact-intensive by their nature, and religious discrimination lawsuits involve many different aspects. A high-profile religious discrimination case has recently been filed against restaurants owned by David Burke of “Top Chef” fame by a group of Muslim employees who claim they have been prohibited from practicing their religion.
According to the lawsuit, Muslim employees were systematically denied rights to practice their religion, and were retaliated against when they chose to exercise those rights. For example, after a cleaning employee in the Bronx claimed that he was precluded from working on Friday nights to attend prayer services, he was still scheduled on Friday nights, and was disciplined for failing to show up for work.
What is Religious Discrimination?
Title VII prohibits employers from treating an applicant more or less favorably than other employees and/or applicants on the basis of their religious beliefs. It is important to remember that just because your religious beliefs are unorthodox and not widely recognized, this does not mean that your employer can discriminate against you. Indeed, so long as you adhere to sincerely held religious, ethics, or moral beliefs, and exercise practices consistent therewith, you are protected from discrimination under Title VII.
In addition to protection from discrimination based on your own religious beliefs, your employer may not treat you less favorably than someone else due to your marriage to or association with a member of a particular religious group. Because more employers are discriminating and retaliating against employees on the basis of their religious beliefs as a means of increasing productivity and lowering the bottom line, EEOC charges and civil lawsuits are on the rise. Do not let your employer engage in illegal activity.
It is also illegal to harass a person on the basis of his or her religion. Harassment can include offensive remarks, degrading remarks, offensive conduct, or frequent or pervasive teasing. When allowed to continue, this type of behavior is particularly concerning because it is often times not directly the employer who is engaging in the misconduct, but members of the staff, co-workers, or management employees. If you believe you have been a victim of religious discrimination or harassment, do not hesitate to contact an employment attorney today.
An Employment Attorney Can Assist you in Recovering Damages
Religious discrimination cases are some of the most complex employment law issues facing employers and employees in today’s workforce. Many of the issues are fact intensive and require systematic analysis by a trained employment attorney. Indeed, many employers think they are protecting their overall workforce when they are in fact discriminating against employees based on their religion. Religious discrimination is poor business practice and a violation of your civil rights. Therefore, non-compliant employers must be made to pay. The employment lawyers at the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg will fight for you. Contact us today at 212-JUSTICE or [email protected] for a free consultation.