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Religion Discrimination Under Title VII


Discrimination prohibited by Title VII

By Attorney Norka M. Schell
First it is important to point that Title VII prohibits disparate treatment of employees of different religions. Therefore, under Title VII, it is unlawful to discriminate against applicants or employees because of religion. These prohibitions apply to the federal government and state and local governments, as well as to private employers. In addition, employers and unions must accommodate the religious practices of their workers.
In order to prove his or her case under the the Title VII, an employee must state and prove his claim that his or her employer treated him or her differently because of his or her religious beliefs and/or the employee must state and prove that he or she possessed a bona fide religious belief that was not reasonably accommodated.
The Title VII does not prohibit treating all religions the same, even if they are all treated badly as opposed to some other protected characteristic. Thus, an employer who chooses to recognize employee groups based on common social identity, such as People with Disabilities, African Ancestry, and Women's Advisory Council, yet refuses to recognize groups that "promote or advocate particular religious … positions," does not violate Title VII when it refuses to recognize a Christian Employee Network.  The court have stated that the central question based a religious discrimination case under Title VII is "whether the same action would have been taken had the employee been a different religion".

If you are not sure whether you have been discriminated against, please call our New York offices at (212)564-1589 to speak with an attorney.