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How to avoid religious discrimination at work

Employers in New York and elsewhere are being encouraged to take religious discrimination in the workplace seriously. While religion is generally a hot topic, attacks on Jewish centers as well as a proposed ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries have put some on edge. Business owners and managers would be wise to understand that events that happen in the public can impact the workplace.

Consideration may need to be made for anyone who holds a sincere religious belief even if that person is an atheist. The same may be true for those who hold beliefs that may not be widely shared by others within a specific religion. However, it is important to point out that hate groups and political organizations do not fall under the legal definition of religion.

There are several forms of religious discrimination including treating someone differently due to his or her beliefs. Business owners and managers are also barred from tolerating such behavior from customers even if they don't participate in it themselves. It is also illegal to discriminate against an individual because he or she is affiliated with someone, such as a spouse, who may hold specific religious beliefs. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an employee for asking for accommodations based on a religious belief.

Those who feel as if they have been the victim of workplace discrimination may wish to speak with attorneys. A lawyer may be able to prove that his or her client was retaliated against because he or she asked for an accommodation based on a religious belief or was otherwise harassed because of a sincere belief. An attorney may be able to provide this proof by reviewing emails from managers, talking to witnesses and discovering other types of evidence.

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