Report: Discrimination Against American Jews on the Rise

Los Angeles religious discrimination attorneys know that the disparate treatment received by Muslims has been on the rise the last two decades. What is also now being reported by the Pew Research Center is that many now also perceive a substantial rise in discrimination against those of the Jewish faith and nationality. religious discrimination employment attorney

The percentage of Americans saying Jewish people face “at least some” discrimination spiked by 20 percent just in the last three years.  It is now up to 64 percent. The share of those saying Jewish people face “a lot” of discrimination at work, in education and housing nearly doubled in that same time frame, going from 13 percent to 24 percent. Although views on this are varying depending on party lines (with Democrats being more likely than Republicans to indicate they’ve seen a spike in discrimination) both sides see a shift.

The survey was conducted this month among more than 1,500 adults, who also stated there is either some or a lot of discrimination in America against those who are Muslim, black, Hispanic, gay, lesbian and women. Muslims in particular are recognized as suffering discrimination, with more than 8 in 10 respondents agreeing they face some discrimination and more than half saying they face a lot. Among the nine groups about which respondents answered, this was the highest.

Perception of Discrimination Against Jews Climbed the Most

Overall, religious discrimination against Jews was perceived as increasing the most, with adverse attitudes and actions against seen as mostly staying the same between 2016 and 2019. The biggest change as it relates to the total is that partisan divides have grown wider. For example, while 69 percent of Democrats now say blacks grapple with “a lot” of discriminatory action, that view is shared by just 19 percent of those who identify as Republicans. While Democrats who view racial discrimination against black minorities as having grown by 12 percent in the last three years, it actually fell by a percentage point among Republicans.

Those in the majority on both sides of the political aisle say they do believe there is “at least some” discrimination against many groups, but that was still more than 90 percent of Republicans versus almost 70 percent of Republicans.

On the flip side, Democrats were far less likely to say that evangelical Christians faced discrimination – about one-third – compared to 70 percent of Republicans.

Discrimination Against Jewish People in Employment

With regard to discrimination against Jews, we know that followers of Judaism are protected under California and federal law as a religion. However, questions have arisen in American courts about whether it could also involve one’s Jewish heritage under the protected class of “race.”

Last year, the Associated Press reported a federal magistrate judge in Louisiana ruled Jewish people are protected by law against racial discrimination in employment actions. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to define was the term “race” means under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but the magistrate ruled Jewish citizens have been treated/viewed not only as members of a religion, but also as an ethnic and/or racial group. (Not all individuals of Jewish heritage follow the Jewish faith.) They are entitled to legal protections against discriminatory employment decisions, the court ruled. That case pertained to a football coach who was suing a private Baptist college.

Los Angeles religious discrimination employment attorneys know the Pew survey results have no bearing on any active cases. However, they do reflect how views of discriminatory sentiments and actions are perceived. Partisanship aside, the study also indicated those not in a given protected class were less likely to perceive discrimination toward that group as a problem. For example, while 73 Caucasians on the whole say Hispanics face discrimination, that was compared to 86 percent of Hispanic respondents. Similar patterns emerged with women v. men, black v. white, etc.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.

Additional Resources:

Sharp Rise in the Share of Americans Saying Jews Face Discrimination, April 2019, Pew Research Center

More Blog Entries:

Christian Fired for Refusing Work on Sundays, Wins $21M Religious Discrimination Case, March 20, 2019, Los Angeles Employment Attorney Blog