Religious discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under both federal and New Jersey state law. The United States was founded on a person’s right to practice their religion of choice and to be free of government-imposed religion. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protect workers against many forms of workplace discrimination, including adverse treatment based on a person’s religion. This means it is against the law for your employer to treat you differently than your co-workers or harass you because of your religion. The South Jersey employment discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC defend workers who have suffered religious discrimination at work.
Religion in the Workplace
Protection from discrimination begins with the hiring process. An employer may not ask you about your religious beliefs, what faith you belong to, if you practice your faith regularly, or if you are associated with a particular place of worship, such as a temple, synagogue, mosque, or church. The only exception is for employers who are religious organizations, or associations where religious affiliation may be required for employment.
Once you have been hired, your employer may not deny you benefits, raises, promotions, or terminate your employment because of your religious beliefs, perceived religious beliefs, your attendance of a place of worship, your association with another person and their religious beliefs, or your lack of belief in a religion. Employers are also required by law to accommodate within reason your religious practices and observances that do not create an undue hardship for their business. Examples of this type of accommodation include:
- Honoring requests for time off during a religious holiday by allowing you to change shift assignments with a co-worker with a similar job
- Modification of dress codes for workers whose religion requires them to wear certain attire, such as a headscarf or yarmulke, uncut hair or facial hair, or clothing of a specific color or length.
Employers are required to protect their employees from religious harassment, such as slurs or mocking of religious garb by supervisors, co-workers, customers, and vendors. Harassment can take the form of verbal or written remarks. Employers can be held liable for workplace religious harassment that creates a hostile work environment.
Disparate Impact Discrimination
This type of discrimination is not as overt and usually takes the form of a broad regulation that does not discriminate openly against one religious group, but still adversely impacts that group. For example, a rule banning any type of head covering in the workplace would not only mean baseball caps, but also religious head coverings, such as yarmulkes and headscarves, thus preventing those groups from practicing their beliefs.
Compensation for Religious Discrimination
If you feel you have been discriminated against in your place of work because of your religious beliefs, you may file a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. A successful complaint entitles you to compensation for any wages lost, past and future; reinstatement of your job; restoration of any benefits you were denied because of discrimination; damages for pain, humiliation, and emotional distress; and compensation for any reasonable legal fees incurred.
South Jersey Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Help Victims of Religious Discrimination Recover Compensation
If you experienced religious discrimination at your workplace, contact an experienced South Jersey employment discrimination lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC today. Contact us online or call us at 856-235-7075 to set up a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including those in Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.