Religious Discrimination

Religious Discrimination In The Workplace

The United States of America was founded on the principle of Religious Freedom. Those first settlers at Jamestown or the brave souls on the Mayflower all were seeking Religious Freedom. 

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and protects citizens from government interference (along with other principles). It prohibits any laws that establish a national religion or impede the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution was adopted into the Bill of Rights in 1791.

Employers cannot discriminate or retaliate based on Religious Beliefs either.  Employers cannot prohibit workers from engaging in religious practices, wearing religious artifacts such as religious head-coverings, or taking time off of work to observe religious holidays.  Reasonable accommodations must be afforded to employees who follow such religious teachings. 

Some examples of Religious Discrimination for Job Applicants or Employees include:

  • Being required to remove a head covering when other employees are permitted to wear hats.
  • Being told you were being hired until an employer sees you wearing a religious artifact such as a yarmulke.
  • Not being permitted to observe daily prayer times when other workers are permitted to take smoking breaks. 
  • Not being permitted to take days off of work to observe religious holidays. 
  • Your religious beliefs are a topic of discussion when your employment is being discussed, raises are being discussed, assignments are being given, or at a performance review. 

Federal and State Laws prevent workers from being subjected to discrimination based on their religion.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on religion.   

If an employee is subjected to direct harassment, indirect harassment or disparate treatment, their employer can be liable for such conduct.  Interestingly, even people who have applied for a job or those who want a job but have not applied can be protected from disparate treatment under Title VII.  A non-applicant may establish a prima facie case of disparate treatment just by showing that they did not apply to a position because of a justifiable belief that the employer’s discriminatory practices made applying a futility. See, EEOC v. Joe’s Stone Crabs, Inc., 269 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 2002).

A employee can establish a prima facie case by introducing evidence that creates an inference that an employment decision was made based on a illegal discriminatory motive.  At minimum, the employee must show that they are: (1) a member of a protected class; (2) was qualified for the position; (3) suffered an adverse employment action; and (4) non members of the protected class were treated more favorably. Williams v. Seven Seventeen HB Philadelphia Corp., 51 F.Supp. 2d 637 (E.D. Pa. 1999).

If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or termination because of your religion, contact Robert Maizel, Esquire who can help you fight your employer.

How Can Robert Maizel Help You?

I am an experience employment lawyer who handles these matters regularly.  Our team investigates your claim to secure all of the information to help obtain a positive resolution to your case.  We know the law and we understand your needs.  No matter what your question, please feel free to call us at 215-695-3000 to discuss your case.  All consultations are free of charge.

Robert Maizel, Esquire

Robert Maizel is an Experienced Trial Attorney in Philadelphia with over fifteen years of trial experience.

You will speak to an attorney about your case!

Saffern & Weinberg has offices located in both Center City Philadelphia and Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.  Attorney Robert Maizel is a Partner with the Law Offices of Saffren & Weinberg.

Robert Maizel is associated with, and is a Partner with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg. Robert Maizel is not a Law Firm, and rather Robert Maizel is affiliated with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg.  All clients shall formulate an agreement with the Law Firm of Saffren & Weinberg, with the option of hiring Robert Maizel as lead counsel on your case to be heard in the State Courts of Pennsylvania, and Marc Weinberg as the lead counsel in cases to be heard in the Federal Courts of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Maizel handles all actions in the Administrative Courts of Pennsylvania including the EEOC and PaHRC.

Call Robert Maizel at 215-695-3000 to schedule your free consultation.

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