Discrimination Against Muslims

You are a Muslim. You practice Islam, and you are a conscientious and dedicated worker. Your New York employer does not see it that way because your  employer is prejudiced against Muslims. Ever since 9/11, there has been increasing discrimination in the workplace against Muslims. You are called a “terrorist” or some other derogatory and hurtful names. You are not hired, abused or fired because you wear a headscarf, a hijab, or a kufi.  You are told you don’t have the “right look”. Maybe you are subject to physical violence. You are shocked by the level of animosity against you, when you have done nothing to deserve it. The discrimination and animosity may be more severe if you are Arab or Pakistani. You should not have to live in fear in the land of freedom.

Muslims are entitled, as are members of other religions, to practice their religion. You are entitled to a reasonable accommodation in your New York workplace to practice Islam, as long as the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on your employer. A reasonable accommodation may involve enabling you to engage in Jum’ah during the workday, to fast during Ramadan, and to participate in religious celebrations and holidays. You should not be prevented from observing Eid twice a year, when you engage in congregational prayers, family visits and gift giving. You should let your New York employer know that you want to cause the least amount of hardship or burden for the accommodation, and that you will get your work done. Perhaps you could offer to work later or earlier, or on the holidays of other religions. Discuss possibilities for flexible scheduling. For example, you may request that your meal breaks be moved until after the sun sets during Ramadan. Your employer must engage in a good faith dialogue.

The purpose of discrimination laws in the workplace is to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Many employers are wary of or hostile to Muslims just because they don’t understand your religious practices. For example, perhaps you can encourage your employer to provide sensitivity training at work to explain why some Muslims are reluctant to shake the hand of an unrelated member of the opposite sex or to avoid sustained eye contact with them.

Nor can your New York employer subject you to a hostile environment because of the fact that you are a Muslim. Discrimination against people who practice Islam is a form of religious discrimination. Calling you derogatory, hurtful names, or threatening you because of the fact that you are Muslim is against the law in New York State and New York City.

If you complain about that you are being discriminated against because you are Muslim, your New York employer cannot subject you to retaliation.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 so that we can review if your New York City employer has subjected you to discrimination because you are a Muslim in violation of law in New York State or New York City.

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