Federal and state laws protect employees in New Jersey against religious discrimination in the workplace. In short, your employer cannot fire you because of your religion and may need to make reasonable accommodations for your faith if it does not cause the company undue hardship. Otherwise, it may be categorized as wrongful termination due to religious discrimination.
If you suspect that your employer fired you because of your religious beliefs, Castronovo & McKinney can help. Our experienced wrongful termination lawyer will handle all the details of your claim and protect your employment rights. Wrongful termination due to religious discrimination is illegal. We are here to help you fight back. Contact us today to learn how.
What is Religious Discrimination And Its Role in Wrongful Termination By New Jersey Law?
Religious discrimination occurs when an employer mistreats an employee because of their religion. The term “religion” includes established faith-based systems such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and any sincerely held ethical or personal belief, for example, atheism, ethical humanism, and veganism. Regardless of how it occurs, religious discrimination, which includes wrongful termination, is forbidden under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
How To Identify Religious Discrimination
There are two forms of religious discrimination – disparate treatment and failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.
Religious Disparate Treatment
Disparate treatment discrimination occurs when an employer makes any employment decision based on religion, such as:
Religious disparate treatment can also occur when an employee suffers harassment for their religious or sincerely held beliefs by anyone in the workplace, including supervisors, coworkers, vendors, or customers. Harassment may involve:
- Making derogatory comments about a person’s religious beliefs
- Telling offensive religious jokes
- Attempting to convert a coworker from one religion to another (proselytizing)
A single offhand comment may not constitute harassment, but conduct severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment or result in an adverse employment action, such as termination, is illegal. You may also have a viable wrongful termination claim if you were fired because of your religious beliefs or complaining about harassment.
Failure To Provide A Reasonable Accommodation
Employers may need to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs that do not pose an undue hardship to the company. Undue hardship may be unreasonable costs or staffing shortages that interfere with operations. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Making exceptions for grooming and dress (e.g. hairstyles, beards, hijab)
- Allowing time for prayer
- Changing shifts and having flexible scheduling to allow employees to attend and observe religious events and holidays
How To Spot Wrongful Termination Based on Religious Discrimination
Religious-based wrongful termination may involve:
- Being fired for your hair or dress if your employer had a grooming policy or dress code and failed to provide a reasonable accommodation
- Being fired for leaving for a religious event or holiday after your employer failed to accommodate your leave requests
- Forcing you to quit by not preventing religious harassment
The best way to determine if your employer fired you because of your religion is to consult an experienced religious discrimination attorney.
How Our Firm Can Help
We have the legal skills, resources, and determination to help you obtain justice. Once we take your case, our wrongful termination attorneys will:
- Conduct an extensive investigation
- Interview witnesses who can support your claim
- Obtain and review your personnel file and performance reviews
- Determine if your employer has a history of religious discrimination
- Negotiate a fair and just settlement with your employer and their attorneys
We will work hard to settle your claim out of court, but we will take your case to trial, if necessary, to achieve the best results. You can depend on us to build a strong case, protect your rights, and get you just compensation through negotiation or litigation. Depending on the circumstances, you may be awarded damages, such as:
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Lost bonuses and vacation pay
- The value of lost benefits, such as health insurance
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Attorney fees and court costs
Punitive damages may also be available for wrongful termination based on religious discrimination. These damages will punish the employer’s misconduct and deter others from similar wrongdoing.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Religious Discrimination Attorney
Wrongful termination based on religion is not only heinous but also illegal. The best way to fight back is to have the powerful representation Castronovo & McKinney provides. We have an impressive track record of success in wrongful termination cases and will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.