Religious freedom is one of the bedrock principles of our nation, but employment practices often conflict with religious customs. If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your religious beliefs, you need an experienced workplace discrimination attorney that deals with religious discrimination claims at your side.
At Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, we are committed to helping workers throughout New Jersey fight back against discrimination in the workplace. If you have been treated unfairly at work because of your religious beliefs, our employment law attorneys are here to protect your rights.
Well-versed in the applicable anti-discrimination laws, we have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes in arbitration and court proceedings. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today to schedule a consultation.
What is religious discrimination?
Religious freedom applies not only to established faith-based systems like Judaism, Christianity, or Islam but also to any sincerely held ethical or personal belief. As such, religious discrimination is prohibited under federal and state law, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD)
Religious discrimination occurs when employees are treated unfairly by employers because of their religious or sincerely held beliefs or the beliefs of someone with whom they are associated.
Identifying Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
Generally, there are two types of religious discrimination – disparate treatment and failure to provide a reasonable accommodation:
- Disparate treatment occurs when employment decisions (e.g. hiring, compensating, firing) are made based on an employee’s religion or an employee is subjected to harassment because of his or her religious beliefs by anyone in the workplace, including supervisors, coworkers, and third parties (e.g. vendors, customers).
- Reasonable accommodation discrimination occurs when an employer fails to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious beliefs. Examples include not allowing an employee to observe daily prayers or not allowing an employee to take time off to observe a religious holiday. However, employers are not required to provide an accommodation that would cause undue hardship (one that is too costly or disruptive to the workplace).
Examples of religious discrimination include:
- Refusing to offer a job to an applicant due to his or her religious or sincerely held belief
- Firing an employee for taking time off for observing a religious holiday, as long as he or she followed company procedure for requesting time off
- Not allowing an employee to interact with customers because of religious wear
- Failing to accommodate religious practices, such as daily prayer or Sabbath observance
- Prohibiting certain grooming customs (e,g, Sikh beard)
Regardless of whether it’s a specific employment policy, the conduct of supervisors or coworkers, or being denied a reasonable accommodation, you have powerful legal protections against religious discrimination.
Employees are Protected Against Harassment Because of Their Religious Beliefs
Workplace harassment is often thought of in terms of sexual harassment but offensive conduct, comments, or displays about a person’s religious beliefs is considered an unlawful form of religious discrimination. Harassment may involve a coworker making offensive comments about another’s religion or attempting to convert someone from one religious belief to another when doing either of these interfere with the person’s ability to perform his or her job duties.
Damages Our Discrimination Attorneys Can Help You Recover
If you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment in the workplace because of your religious beliefs, you may be able to recover damages, such as:
- Back wages
- Front pay
- Lost benefits (e.g. health, retirement plans)
- Bonus payments
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Attorneys’ fees/court costs
You may also be entitled to “equitable remedies” that require your employer to take a specific action, such as reinstating your position if you were terminated.
Why Choose Us?
Although taking action against your employee can be frightening, we will stand by you at all times and fight to protect your rights. When you become our client, our legal team will handle all the details of your claim, including:
- Conducting a thorough investigation
- Identifying and interviewing witnesses
- Handling all communications with your employer and their attorneys
- Negotiating a fair and just settlement
- Filing a religious discrimination lawsuit necessary
Rest assured, we will right this wrong and fight to protect your religious freedom.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Religious Discrimination Attorneys
Although religious discrimination is illegal, pursuing a claim can be complicated and confusing. The best way to protect your rights is to have the powerful representation we provide. Above all, we believe there should be zero tolerance for religious discrimination in the workplace. Contact our office today so we can start working on your case.
Castronovo & McKinney, LLC helps clients with religious discrimination claims throughout New Jersey including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, and Morris County as well as the cities Hackensack, Newark, New Brunswick, and Morristown.