NYC Religious Discrimination Lawyer
Our New York City religious discrimination lawyers represent employees all over NYC in discrimination cases based on religion. We have successfully represented individuals related to religious discrimination, retaliation, and violations of Title VII rights. Our NYC employment lawyers are up to date on the evolving laws in this area and can evaluate your case today. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
Both Federal, New York State, and New York City law protect employees from religious discrimination by their employers.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers may not discriminate against their employees on the basis of their employee’s religion or the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Title VII prohibits discriminatory practices against many traditional religious beliefs such as those practiced and observed by Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, among others.
New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) prohibit employer discrimination based on an employee’s “creed.” A person’s creed is the set of moral or ethical beliefs they hold and the practices and observances associated with them. A creed includes traditional religious beliefs and practices but also extends to those that may not be expressed by an organized religious group.
How Can I Prove That I Have Been Discriminated Against Due to My Religion or Beliefs?
To successfully establish a claim for religious discrimination, you must prove that:
- You are a member of a protected class (i.e., a member of a religious group or that you hold certain religious beliefs);
- You were qualified for your employment position;
- You experienced an adverse employment action; and
- that the adverse employment action occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of discriminatory intent.
What is an Adverse Employment Action?
Adverse employment actions include job termination or constrictive job termination, job demotion, revocation of significant job responsibilities, increasing job duties to such a degree that your job becomes impossible to perform, cutting your pay or benefits, demotion, or transferring you to a less favorable or less prestigious position.
How Do I Show that I am Qualified for My Position?
You can prove you are qualified for your position if you can show that you possess the basic skills necessary for performance of the job, a lack of a disciplinary record, and a positive work performance history.
How Can I Prove an Inference of Discriminatory Intent?
An inference of discriminatory intent can be proven by showing that you were treated differently than other employees who do not hold the same religious beliefs as you. Differential treatment includes your employer making negative or derogatory comments about your religion, subjecting you to excessive discipline or increased scrutiny over your work performance, or your employer providing preferential treatment to individuals who hold different religious beliefs from you.
You can also prove that an inference of discriminatory intent exists by the timing of events leading up to the adverse employment action. For example, if you requested a religious accommodation or disclosed your affiliation with a religious group, and then were fired shortly afterwards, this quick turnaround would help establish an inference of discriminatory intent.
How are Religious Discrimination Claims Treated Differently Under Title VII and the NYSHRL and NYCHRL?
New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) provide greater protections to employees than those granted under Title VII.
New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) applies to all New York employers regardless of the number of employees they have. Employers with less than 15 employees are not subject to liability under Title VII. New York State Human Rights Law(NYSHRL) also protects non-employees by extending religious discrimination protections to consultants, vendors, contractors, subcontractors or others providing services in the workplace.
Similarly, New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) extends religious discrimination protections to interns, freelancers, and independent contractors. However, employers with less than 4 employees are not subject to liability under New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). NYCHRL also protects employees from discrimination not only on their actual religion or religious beliefs but also the employee’s perceived religion. This means that if your employer discriminates against you under the mistaken belief that you hold certain religious beliefs, you are still protected under the law.
Further under NYCHRL you do not need to prove that you suffered a materially adverse change in the terms and conditions of your employment. You only need to prove that you were subject to an unfavorable change or treated less well than other employees on the basis of your religion or religious beliefs to satisfy the “adverse employment action” element of your discrimination claim.
Our New York City Employment Attorneys represent employees all over New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Our central location in Manhattan makes it easy and convenient to represent employees everywhere in NYC. Call us today!