Although all employers should foster tolerance of different religions in the workplace, the unfortunate reality is that some people still discriminate against others because of their religious beliefs. If you are a worker in NJ, it is important that you understand the forms of religious discrimination in the workplace. You may have legal options if you are a victim of religious discrimination in the workplace. For example, you may be qualified to file a religious discrimination claim and recover compensation and the justice you deserve. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for NJ employers to discriminate against employees because of their religion or religious beliefs. As an employee, federal law also protects you from religious discrimination.
Forms of Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
There are two main forms of religious discrimination in the workplace; direct religious discrimination and indirect religious discrimination. The following are some forms of direct religious discrimination in the workplace:
- Unjustly Dismissing an Employee Due to Their Religion: Firing an employee because of their religion is one of the direct forms of religious discrimination. If, for example, an employee asks to take a day off to observe a religious event and an employer fires the employee solely for that, that is religious discrimination.
- Unjustly Refusing to Promote an Employee Due to Their Religion: Suppose an employee engages in daily prayers and their employer refuses to promote them because they believe the daily prayers hinder the employee’s ability to perform their work effectively. If this isn’t the case, meaning the employee performs well at work despite their daily prayers, that is religious discrimination.
- Unjustly Lowering an Employee’s Compensation Because of Religion: If an employer receives pay significantly less than that of another employee with the same experience and job title who is of a different religion, it is likely religious discrimination.
- Harassment: Another form of direct religious discrimination in the workplace is harassment (physical and verbal). An example of verbal harassment is when an employee is called names because of their dress code.
The following are some forms of indirect religious discrimination in the workplace:
- Requiring a Dress Code that Excludes Employees Who Belong to a Certain Religion: It is religious discrimination if an employer puts in place dress code policies that apply to all employees but disregard employees’ religious practices and beliefs. Such policies give some employees an advantage over others.
- Setting Work Schedules that Hinder Religious Observance: It is considered religious discrimination if an employer sets work schedules that hinder employees from taking time off for religious observance.
It is crucial to note that for religious discrimination to exist, an unfair act must have occurred. It is legal for employers to have rules in the workplace, even if those rules exclude employees of certain faiths, as long as they are justifiable and reasonable.
Contact the Trabosh Law Firm
If you think you have been discriminated against in your workplace because of your religion or religious beliefs, contact the Trabosh Law Firm to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.