When you go to work, you have the right to expect an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, you may not get that. Many New Jersey employees experience religious discrimination in the workplace, and you may be one of them. If you are, you do not have to suffer in silence and endure this type of treatment alone.
You have the right to speak out regarding discriminatory treatment in your workplace. If you believe you are receiving negative treatment because of your faith, that is a direct violation of federal law. Employers must recognize and respect your rights, and they have the obligation to make sure they do not allow the development of a hostile work environment.
Your rights in the workplace
Religious discrimination in the workplace includes any type of mistreatment of an individual on the basis of his or her faith and religious beliefs. This can come from an employer or coworker. There are laws that protect the religious rights of individuals who participate in organized and traditional religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism or Judaism. It also extends protection to people who have closely held ethical or moral beliefs.
This means that your employer cannot use your religion as a factor when making decisions related to hiring, firing, promotions, training and more. You should not experience different or negative treatment because of what you believe. This also means that employers should not allow others to treat you in a discriminatory manner as well. Examples of religious discrimination in the workplace include:
- Making offensive remarks about a person's religious traditions or practices
- Acting hostile toward a person because of his or her religious beliefs
- Firing a person because he or she asks for religious accommodations
If you are a victim of this type of treatment or your employer has denied you reasonable accommodations, you have the right to speak up. There are steps you can take to hold your employer accountable for religious discrimination.
What should you do next?
You may be unsure if what you are experiencing counts as religious discrimination, or you may feel overwhelmed by what you are experiencing. You do not have to deal with this type of treatment on your own. By seeking the guidance of an experienced employment law attorney, you can learn more about the legal options available to you. As a victim, you may have grounds to move forward with a civil claim.