America –Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.  Passed by congress September 1789 and now over 220 years later those same rights are still in existence.  It’s why many people have come to love this country, cherishing the uniqueness of America’s population and appreciating the remarkable differences that add a bit of flair.

So why can’t everyone recognize that no matter how diverse this country continues to remain, we can still all live harmoniously?  Since the Sept 11, attacks, numbers continue to increase reflecting how many Americans refuse to trust Muslims. Attacks on Muslim people are five times higher now than prior to 9/11. Approximately  46% of Americans believe that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers and four out of ten Americans have an unfavorable view of the religion; that’s roughly half of individuals in this nation that carry a negative impression of an entire group of people.
Those who follow the Islamic religion continue to be ostracized and singled out while taking airline flights, shopping, making large purchases and even discrimination in the workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal agency that governs civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on the hiring, firing, wages, promotions, job assignments, training, layoffs, benefits and any other terms when it comes to a job applicant or an employee.  It also protects those who are married to someone or associated with an organization of a particular religion.

What are some examples of discrimination a Muslim may experience in the workplace?

  • A Muslim who experiences religious discrimination in the workplace may be asked to remove his or her hijab or another religious garb.
  • A Muslim who experiences religious discrimination in the workplace may be barred from taking prayer breaks.
  • A Muslim who experiences religious discrimination in the workplace may be subjected to name-calling such as “Osama” or “terrorist.”
  • A Muslim who experiences religious discrimination in the workplace may be confined to the backroom or storeroom to work when originally he or she was hired for a sales job.

All of the above scenarios are just a few examples of unfair treatment based on the beliefs of an individual and the garments that clothe a person.
There’s definitely something morally and ethically wrong with treating someone poorly due to their religious beliefs, garments, spiritual practices, and other theological aspects, yet it’s consistently done on a regular basis.

  • A Phoenix Sheraton Four Points Hotel was accused of calling Iraqi immigrant names such as “camel jockey,” and teasing him over news stories about captured terrorists. Management also created a “hostile work environment” for the employee.
  • A meat company was sued on behalf of 160 Somali immigrants accusing the employer of cursing them for being Muslim; throwing meat, blood, and bones at them during their prayer breaks.
  • Popular clothing retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch was accused of violating employment laws for refusing to hire an applicant based on the headscarf she wore.

Morgan Freeman once said, “There is no bad religion, only bad people.”  We should all aim to live our lives in accordance with this phrase. Employers are legally obligated to adhere to the laws of the E.E.O.C. but more importantly, integrity is a character that every individual is entitled to receive until they demonstrate otherwise.  So why not put aside prejudice and bigotry; to instead extend the gifts of kindness and impartiality?

Have you or someone you know been the victim of religious discrimination in the workplace?

If so, you may be feeling a range of different emotions in addition to not knowing where to turn.  You may not know or understand the laws that have been set up to protect you from acts of discrimination.
After experiencing religious discrimination, an employee may feel overwhelmed and mentally distressed having to deal with the conduct of the perpetrator; but the laws under Title VII are harsh for those who violate them.
The last thing the victim needs is to try and concern him or herself with how to approach their defense in order to receive justice.
Our discrimination attorneys are experienced and competent in handling all facets of employment law.  Do not ignore the misconduct you have gone through at the hands of your employer. Hire the best attorney for your case to get the job completed. Call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation to discuss your possible claim

 

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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