Religion is an integral part of many people’s lives. Legally, you are protected against religion discrimination in the workplace. Despite that truth, employers still break the law and violate the rights of their employees.
If you believe you have been discriminated against at work based on your religious beliefs, please contact our Rochester employment lawyer, Michelle Cimino, today to schedule a consultation. We want to defend your rights and hold these employers accountable.
Defining Religion Under Title VII
The definition of religion according to Title VII is vague. The more common religions are included along with newer or less common religions. The five most common religions in New York include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
You may be wondering if your religion is protected under the law. Whether you are a Wiccan, Taoist, Jain, or Kemetic, you can rest assured that you get the same legal protections as the more commonly followed religions.
Title VII will protect you if your practices are based on your religious beliefs. For example, if you practice Pagan holidays, you can legally request to be excused from work to observe those holidays. Further, if your religion forbids you from working on Saturday, you are legally protected by Title VII.
Your personal preferences are not considered religious beliefs and are not legally protected. For example, if you disobey grooming policies based on your personal philosophies, you cannot use religion discrimination as a reason to argue with an employer.
You have a right to accommodations so long as they do not impose an undue hardship on your employer. The following are several examples of religion discrimination based on a refusal to accommodate.
- An employer asks a Pentecostal woman to wear pants as part of her uniform. She informs her employer that her religion does not allow her to wear pants; he says she has to or she will be fired.
- An employer refuses to accommodate a schedule change to allow a Catholic employee to go to church on Ash Wednesday.
- An employer forces an atheist to remain present and participate in prayers at the start of their staff meetings.
- An employer refuses to allow an Indigenous employee to leave work to attend a ceremony with their tribe.
We urge you to reach out to our Rochester employment lawyer right away if you have experienced something similar to these examples.
Employers are forbidden from discriminating against people based on their religious beliefs. The law protects employees and candidates applying for jobs. Religion should play no part in your employer’s decision to hire, fire, promote, assign duties, pay, provide benefits, etc.
For example, if an employer refuses to hire Muslims due to personal bias against the religion, they are breaking the law.
Harassment based on someone’s religion is also illegal. An example of religious harassment includes making offensive remarks about someone’s faith. The law does not make teasing someone about their religion prohibited. However, if you are harassed so often that your workplace has become hostile, you should seek legal counsel.
Contact Our Rochester Employment Lawyer Today
Religion discrimination in the workplace is not only unacceptable, but it is also illegal. When you find yourself being mistreated by your employer based on your religious beliefs, it is time to reach out to someone who can help you. Call our Rochester religious discrimination lawyer right away to schedule a consultation. Attorney Michelle Cimino is passionate about employment rights and fiercely defends her clients against employers who break the law.