Is President Trump Subject to Title VII?
President Trump reportedly joked that Vice President Pence wants to see gay people ‘hang,’
Moreover, apparently Vice President Pence’s hardline religious beliefs have been a running joke in the White House and Trump joins in in mocking Pence’s religious beliefs.
Vice President Pence is the former Indiana governor, best known for mixing his political and religious beliefs. In 2015, when Pence was still governor, he drew national controversy for supporting a “religious freedom” bill that would effectively legalize discrimination against LGBT citizens. Pence later withdrew his support but only after weeks of protests and business boycotts. Additionally in 2016, signed a bill anti-abortion bill that set up new restrictions on abortion providers and made Indiana the only state requiring a burial or cremation of fetal remains from an abortion. Pence also remains the only vice president in White House history to speak at the annual Washington, D.C. pro-life March for Life event. Moreover, as Vice President, continues to speak out against the legalization of gay marriage, which is settled law.
Reportedly, a campaign staffer recalled that Trump would ask people after meeting with Vice President Pence, “DID MIKE MAKE YOU PRAY?” On another occasion, Trump joked about Pence’s opposition to abortion and gay rights on religious grounds. At the meeting, the scholar informed Trump that the states could still legalize abortion even if the Supreme Court overturned landmark case Roe v. Wade. Trump responded by telling his Vice President, “YOU SEE? YOU’VE WASTED ALL THIS TIME AND ENERGY ON IT, AND IT’S NOT GOING TO END ABORTION ANYWAY.”
Moreover, when discussing LGBT rights, Trump motioned towards Pence and joked, “DON’T ASK THAT GUY — HE WANTS TO HANG THEM ALL!”
Political humor is one thing but, making fun of an individual’s religion in the workplace is no laughing matter. President Trump potentially violated Federal law that protects employees from discrimination in the workplace.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion, or lack of religious belief, when it comes to hiring, firing, or any other terms and conditions of employment. Also, Title VII prohibits religious harassment of employees, which includes offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices that go beyond simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious. However, if less serious teasing becomes so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such harassment rises to an unlawful level.
Title VII protects not only people who belong to major organized religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, but also others with sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Likewise, for employees living in the State of New York, or New York City, there are additional protections. President Trump potentially violated Federal law along with various New York State and New York City laws that protect employees from discrimination in the workplace.
The experienced New York City discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC have years of experience litigating claims of religious discrimination. Working together with our Philadelphia discrimination attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your religion, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.
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