Religious Discrimination


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Basic insight to Religious discrimination

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Religious Discrimination

  1. 1. By DeepuKurian<br />RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION<br />
  2. 2. The Civil Rights Division filed suit against the NY MTA alleging that it has discriminated against Muslim and Sikh bus and subway drivers by refusing to permit them to wear headscarves and turbans. The suit alleges that the Muslim and Sikh drivers were forbidden to wear these religious head coverings with their uniforms, while other MTA workers were allowed to wear non-regulation headgear, such as baseball caps, without penalty. <br />Filed in 2004<br />The case is pending. <br />United States v. New York Metropolitan Transit Authority<br />Source: The First Freedom Project, USDOJ<br /><br />
  3. 3. Prohibits employers with at least 15 employees, as well as employment agencies and unions, from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It also prohibits retaliation against persons who complain of discrimination or participate in an EEO investigation. With respect to religion, Title VII prohibits:<br />treating applicants or employees differently based on their religious beliefs or practices<br />subjecting employees to harassment because of their religious beliefs or practices<br />denying a requested reasonable accommodation of an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices<br />retaliating against an applicant or employee who has engaged in protected activity, including participation<br />Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 & Religious Discrimination<br />
  4. 4. Scheduling Changes, Voluntary Substitutes, and Shift Swaps <br />Changing an employee’s job tasks or providing a lateral transfer <br />Making an exception to dress and grooming rules <br />Use of the work facility for a religious observance <br />Accommodations relating to payment of union dues or agency fees <br />Accommodating prayer, proselytizing, and other forms of religious expression <br />Common Methods of Religious Accommodation<br />
  5. 5. HOW TO AVOID RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION CHARGES – EMPLOYER BEST PRACTICES<br />Have a well-publicized and consistently applied anti-harassment policy that:<br /> 1) covers religious harassment<br /> 2) clearly explains what is prohibited<br /> 3) describes procedures for bringing harassment to management’s attention<br /> 4) contains an assurance that complainants will be protected against retaliation<br />Allow religious expression among employees to the same extent that they allow other types of personal expression that are not harassing or disruptive<br />Immediately intervene when they become aware of objectively abusive or insulting conduct, even absent a complaint.<br />Encourage managers to intervene proactively and discuss with subordinates whether particular religious expression is welcome if the manager believes the expression might be construed as harassing to a reasonable person<br />Supervisors should avoid expression that might – due to their supervisory authority – reasonably be perceived by subordinates as coercive, even when not so intended<br />
  6. 6. EEOC V.SOUTHERN HILLS MEDICAL CENTER<br />The EEOC’s suit (No. 3:07-cv-00976, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee) had charged that Southern Hills refused to allow WaliTelwar, a practicing Muslim, to use his earned vacation time to make his pilgrimage to Mecca, which is required by his faith. Instead of accommo­dating his request for extended leave, the hospital insisted that Telwar either work as scheduled or resign his position and reapply. Telwar resigned. The EEOC claims that when Telwar returned from his pilgrimage and reapplied to work at Southern Hills, he was not rehired.<br />Southern Hills Medical Center will pay $70,000 and provide other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed<br />Refusing to accommodate a sincerely held religious belief violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.<br />The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement<br /> “Demanding that an employee choose between his job and a mandatory tenet of his faith is a violation of federal law,” <br />
  7. 7. Susan is an experienced clerical worker who wears a hijab (head scarf) in conformance with her Muslim beliefs. XYZ Temps places Susan in a long-term assignment with one of its clients. The client contacts XYZ and requests that it notify Susan that she must remove her hijab while working at the front desk, or that XYZ assign another person to Susan&apos;s position. According to the client, Susan&apos;s religious attire violates its dress code and presents the &quot;wrong image.&quot; Should XYZ comply with its client&apos;s request?<br />XYZ Temps may not comply with this client request without violating Title VII. The client would also violate Title VII if it made Susan remove her hijab or changed her duties to keep her out of public view. Therefore, XYZ should strongly advise against this course of action. Notions about customer preference real or perceived do not establish undue hardship, so the client should make an exception to its dress code to let Susan wear her hijab during front desk duty as a religious accommodation. If the client does not withdraw the request, XYZ should place Susan in another assignment at the same rate of pay and decline to assign another worker to the client.<br />
  8. 8. Religion-Based ChargesTotal number of charge receipts filed and resolved under Title VII by EEOC<br />Source: Office of Research, Information and Planning ,EEOC<br />
  9. 9. What will be the outcome of United States v. New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Case<br />
  10. 10.<br /><br /><br />David J Walsh, Employment Law for Human Resources Practice, 2004<br />References<br />