The freedom to exercise a chosen religion is one of the tenets of our nation, and religious freedoms are staunchly protected. For example, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees in the workplace due to employees’ religious beliefs or practices. Sadly, however, many people suffer harassment or hostile behavior in the workplace due to their religion. If you believe your employer discriminated against you due to your religion, it is advisable to consult legal counsel to discuss what measures you can take to protect your interests. The seasoned New Jersey religious discrimination lawyers of the Resnick Law Group possess the skills to gather the evidence necessary to help you assert your rights, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf.Prohibitions Against Religious Discrimination
Employers are expressly prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on the employee’s religious beliefs under both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In other words, an employer cannot treat an employee differently from other equally situated employees through actions such as firing or refusing to hire them due to their religion. Specifically, an employer cannot discriminate against a potential employee or employee due to the person’s religious faith, or lack thereof, or the person’s affiliation with a place of worship such as a church or temple.
Notably, however, there are some exemptions for employers that are religious organizations or associations, which may be permitted to include religious affiliation as a requirement for employment as a member of the clergy, a religion teacher, or other positions engaged in the employer’s religious activities. Religious organizations or associations generally may abide by the tenets of their religion in setting forth employment requirements as well. A knowledgeable religious discrimination attorney serving New Jersey can evaluate whether your employer was subject to any of these exceptions.
Employees are also protected from harassment such as slurs or offensive remarks based on their religion. Additionally, employers subject to state or federal anti-discrimination laws must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices or beliefs unless doing so would cause the employer to suffer undue hardship.Elements of a Religious Discrimination Employment Lawsuit
Typically, a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination will allege that the employer discriminated against the employee by either taking adverse action against the employee due to his or her religion or by failing to reasonably accommodate the employee’s religious beliefs. To set forth a prima facie case that an employee was treated differently due to his or her religion, the employee must show that he or she is a member of a class protected by anti-discrimination laws, and that the employee performed the essential duties of his or her job at a sufficient level, but he or she suffered an adverse employment action. The employee must also show a link between the adverse action and his or her religious beliefs. The burden then shifts to the employer to show a non-discriminatory reason for the adverse action. If the employer is able to meet this burden, the employee must show that the employer’s reason was merely a pretext for unlawful discrimination. A New Jersey religious discrimination lawyer can help you assemble evidence in support of your claim if you believe an employer has illegally taken adverse action against you.
If an employee alleges discrimination due to a failure to provide reasonable accommodations for his or her religious practices or beliefs, the employee must show that he or she had a sincerely held religious belief that required an accommodation, such as time off for observation of religious holidays or deviation from a dress code. If the employee requested an accommodation that was reasonable, but the employer denied the employee the accommodation even though it could have provided the accommodation without undue hardship, they may be held liable.Religious Discrimination Attorneys Serving New Jersey
Religious freedom is a fundamental right, and employers who discriminate against their employees based on religion should be held accountable. If you suffered adverse action in the workplace because of your religious beliefs, you can speak with a lawyer regarding your rights. At Resnick Law Group, we can set forth compelling arguments in support of your pursuit of the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. We have an office located in Roseland, and we regularly represent employees in discrimination lawsuits throughout New Jersey, including people in cities in Bergen, Morris, Hudson, Monmouth, Essex, Somerset, Passaic, Mercer, Union, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Warren, and Sussex Counties. We also have an office in Manhattan, and we represent parties in employment cases in New York City as well as Westchester and Rockland Counties. We can be reached at our Roseland office at (973) 781-1204 or at our New York office at (646) 867-7997, or via our form online to set up a confidential meeting.