Title VII protects employees from adverse treatment in the workplace targeting their religious beliefs. According to the law, an employer may not force or forbid an employee to participate in religious activity as a condition of employment. If you face harassment or discrimination at work as a result of your religious beliefs, contact Zeff Law Firm to discuss your situation with our creed and religious discrimination attorneys in Philadelphia and Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Please call our law firm at 856-778-9700 to arrange a consultation.
Adverse Treatment & Harassment Is Prohibited
The law forbids harassment based on religious beliefs. These can include frequent and severe offensive remarks that create a hostile work environment or affect decisions such as firing, layoffs, or advancement. In addition, it is illegal to segregate employees based on religion or religious practices such as clothing and grooming practices.
Providing Reasonable Accommodation for Employees
The law requires that an employer make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, provided the accommodation does not place undue hardship on business operations. Examples of undue hardship would include a situation that compromises workplace safety, requires other employees to perform a greater share of work, or infringes on the rights of other employees.
Some Examples of Reasonable Accommodation May Include:
Schedule changes when an employee can’t work on a certain day of the week
Allowing voluntary shift swaps
Leave for religious observances
Dress and grooming practices
Our religious discrimination attorneys in Philadelphia and Mount Laurel, represent clients who have suffered harassment, job segregation, or an employer’s refusal to make reasonable accommodations. Because each situation is unique, it is advisable to have a consultation to learn about your rights and how the law applies to your situation.
What Is Religious Discrimination in Philadelphia & New Jersey?
Religious discrimination in the workplace involves treating an employee, either as an applicant or an on-boarded employee, unfavorably because of their religious beliefs. Anti-discrimination laws protect people who belong to traditional organized religions, and those with other sincere religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Contact a Philadelphia religious discrimination attorney to understand how the laws protect employees.
To be protected by law, the religion does not have to be a traditional religion such as Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the term religion typically refers “ultimate ideas” about “life, purpose, and death.” The religion may be unique, but belief in it must be sincere and meaningful to the practitioner.
Conversely, an employer may not discriminate against employees because of their lack of religious beliefs; By law, atheists and agnostics are also protected from religious discrimination in the workplace. If you have experienced discrimination based your religion or lack of religion anywhere in New Jersey and the Pennsylvania areas, contact a Philadelphia religious discrimination attorney to fight for your rights.
When does Religious Discrimination Happen in the Workplace?
There are two basic types of religious discrimination at work. The first is the unfavorable treatment of an employee because of his or her religious beliefs. The second is an employer’s failure to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs in the workplace. If you have experienced either type of discrimination in the workplace, contact a religious discrimination attorney to discuss your options.
Employment laws forbid discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, promotions, or any other terms or conditions of employment. The law doesn’t prohibit isolated comments or teasing in the workplace. However, harassment by a supervisor, a co-worker, or a client or customer is illegal when it is pervasive and creates a hostile work environment. If you have been harassed because of your religion in the workplace, contact a religious discrimination attorney in Philadelphia and Mount Laurel to discuss your case.
An employer may be required to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace that will allow employees to practice their religion. Some examples religious workplace accommodations include flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions, job reassignments, and modifications to workplace practices and policies, such as dress codes. However, an employer does not have to accommodate an employee’s religious practices if it causes undue hardship in terms of expense, workplace safety, workplace efficiency, or if it infringes on the rights of other employees. Contact a Philadelphia religious discrimination attorney if you think a reasonable accommodation was not made in your workplace.
How Our Philadelphia Religious Discrimination Attorneys Can Help You Defend Your Rights?
If you have experienced religious harassment or discrimination at work, or an employer’s failure to provide reasonable accommodations due to your religion, contact a Philadelphia religious discrimination attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. But first, file a formal complaint with your company’s human resources department. It’s important to make a complaint with your employer first because if you ultimately file a discrimination lawsuit, it provides documentation that the company was notified of the problem and failed to correct it. Filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must happen before filing a lawsuit. Finally, an experienced religious discrimination attorney will assess your legal options and decide if it makes sense to take your case to court.
State laws may offer more protection than federal law. Contact our religious discrimination attorneys at 215-694-8885 to learn more.
Our religious/creed discrimination lawyers in Philadelphia and Mt Laurel represent clients who have suffered harassment, job segregation, or an employer’s refusal to make reasonable accommodations. Because each situation is unique, it is advisable to have a consultation to learn about your rights and how the law applies to your situation.
Religious freedom is one of the most fundamental tenets of our country’s constitutional framework, and one of the essential principles upon which our nation was founded. In the United States, every person has the right to practice, participate or engage in any religion. This means that not only do you have the right to believe in any religion you choose to believe in, but it also means that you should not be subjected to discrimination because of your religious beliefs. As a result, whether you’re in your place of employment or in a public location, you should not be treated differently because of your religious beliefs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When you’ve been treated unfairly or experienced unequal treatment because of your religion in the workplace, you need a religious discrimination lawyer from the Zeff Law Firm to fight for you.
Can you Sue for Religious Discrimination?
If you have been treated unfairly, received disproportionate benefits or have been exposed to derogatory religious slurs, you may have a right to sue for religious discrimination. Typically these instances of discrimination have to occur in a specified location, such as your workplace or a place open to the general public (such as a grocery store, train station, bank, or library). To win a case, your religious discrimination attorney will need to demonstrate that you were treated differently specifically because of your religion.
What are Examples of Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination lawyers know that religious discrimination can come in many forms. In most circumstances, religious discrimination occurs at an individual’s workplace or in general public spaces. Some of the most common examples:
Refusing to hire or firing someone due to their religious beliefs
Refusing to serve or assist an individual because of their religion
Paying someone less because of their religion
Charging someone more for the same services due to his or her religion
Failing to make reasonable accommodations for an individual’s religious belief (refusing to allow time off, alternating schedules, or banning individuals from wearing religious symbols)
Repeated vulgar, hostile, or derogatory speech or behavior directed at an individual and their religious beliefs
Denying someone a promotion because of their religious beliefs
Requiring a dress code that unfairly bans certain religious clothing
Denying an individual various benefits due to their religious beliefs
An employer requires employees to engage in various religious activities (such as prayer during lunchbreaks).
It’s important to remember that there are some circumstances where being treated differently is allowed under the law. Typically, these circumstances involve private institutions or circumstances where an employer cannot make reasonable accommodations due to health or safety reasons. For example, a private Catholic school might only hire individuals who are members of the Catholic faith to work at their institution. Another example would be a construction company that requires individuals to remove turbans or head scarves because those individuals need to be wearing safety helmets while on a dangerous construction site. If you are unsure, contact a religious discrimination attorney at Zeff Law Firm to discuss your situation.
What Laws Protect Against Religious Discrimination?
Religious discrimination is protected by both state and federal laws. The most important Federal law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This law prohibits employers from engaging in discriminatory practices against a variety of protected classes, including religion. It also requires that employers implement reasonable accommodations to employees with specific needs related to their religious beliefs if they are able to implement those accommodations without causing undue hardship to the business. Lastly, the statute prohibits harassment or retaliatory actions in the workplace on the basis of religious beliefs.
Most states have various statutes that protect against religious discrimination as well. In Pennsylvania, for example, religious discrimination is prohibited under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Like Title VII, this statute prohibits disparate treatment on the basis of religion and requires entities to make reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs.
Can you be Fired Due to Religion?
No. While Pennsylvania and New Jersey are at will states, meaning your employer can fire you for almost any reason at almost any time, your religious beliefs are not a valid basis for you to lose your job. If you believe that you have been fired solely because of your religious beliefs, consult with a religious discrimination lawyer at Zeff Law Firm to discuss your case.
How do you Prove Religious Discrimination?
To win a religious discrimination lawsuit, there must be evidence that you have been exposed to disparate treatment because of your religion. This can be demonstrated when there is direct evidence of religious bias. For example, when an employer directly says something like “I never hire Jews,” or a store owner refuses to allow a Sikh shop at his store because he is wearing a turban. However, such direct evidence is somewhat rare, and instead, you may have to prove religious discrimination through circumstantial evidence. For example, if you are Christian and you request Easter off to attend church, but your boss refuses, you may have a proof of religious discrimination if you can also demonstrate that your boss regularly allows individuals to have days off for other reasons. Speaking with a religious discrimination attorney at Zeff Law Firm can help you determine if you have sufficient evidence to prove a religious discrimination claim.
Have Your Rights Been Violated?
Contact our office for a consultation with our skilled religious discrimination attorneys in Philadelphia & Mt Laurel
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