Religious discrimination is sadly common in today’s workforce. What is surprising to learn is the shocking statements that are made, and the blatant manner in which some employees still face religious discrimination in the workplace. Both California and federal law protect workers’ rights to a workplace free of such harassment. Continue reading
A company that contracts to provide passenger wheelchair assistance at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City is being accused of religious discrimination. The charge comes from the New York City Human Rights Commission, which says the company, which offers services to 32 airlines and employs some 250 workers at Terminal 4, violated worker rights by not allowing them breaks during which to pray during daily prayers or to eat after fasting for Ramadan.
According to USA Today, supervisors reportedly harassed workers who follow Islam via a radio system whenever the employees requested prayer time breaks. Those messages were reportedly spiteful and included statements like, “We don’t care about Ramadan” and assertions that workers would be given breaks at company-designated times, not worker-designated times.
If the allegations are proven, they would carry a maximum civil penalty of $250,000, on top of compensatory damages that might be paid to workers. The deputy commissioner of the city’s law enforcement bureau that religious discrimination will not be tolerated and that employees of every faith have the right to ask for religious accommodations. Further, no worker should be harassed or otherwise discriminated against for asking to have a break during which to adhere to observance of their faith. Continue reading
In Sikhism, it’s part of a practice called Kesh that allows one’s hair to grow naturally as a matter of respect for the perfection of God’s creation. The idea is to live the way God made you. It is a tightly-held tenant, one of the five articles of faith of the Sikh religion. When refused to have have it clipped for the drug test, his employer fired him. One plaintiff called the incident, which occurred five years ago, “One of the hardest times of my life.”
Now, he and four other trucker applicants will split a $260,000 damage award to resolve allegations of religious discrimination in employment. Continue reading
A Muslim police officer who is Pakistani-American has filed a federal religious discrimination lawsuit against the New York Police Department, alleging he was wrongly suspended during Ramadan for refusal to shave his one-inch beard.
The 32-year-old officer says the no-beard policy, the subject of his class action employment lawsuit, is an infringement on the rights of some 100 Muslim police officers employed by the NYPD who are simply trying to exercise their freedom of religion without fear of retaliation or discrimination.
Plaintiff is a 10-year veteran on the force, and his primary duties involve handling disciplinary proceedings against fellow officers. He was reportedly suspended without pay. However, in an emergency hearing before a federal district court judge, the department was ordered to continue paying him for at least another three weeks until his next court date, at which time it will be decided whether he will be allowed to come back to work. Continue reading
Dozens of Somali Muslim employees at an equipment manufacturing company in Wisconsin have filed a religious discrimination complaint against their employer, alleging the company stopped allowing prayer breaks at times that are in accordance with their faith. They are accusing the company of discrimination and retaliation on the basis of their faith, national origin and race.
Prior to January of this year, workers were permitted to take breaks for praying so long as they notified their boss, got the Ok and went one-at-a-time. They were able to do so at the times prescribed by religious text. But then, the company introduced a new policy that allows them only two breaks per shift at times that were pre-determined and did not necessarily line up with the times allotted by the Koran. There was also to be no additional accommodations for prayer other than those times.
The workers say they want to keep working at the company, but feel the company no longer wants them there and are taking drastic measures to force them out. Continue reading