In a recently filed New York religious discrimination case, a New York woman claims that she was subjected to discrimination and not provided with a fair chance of employment due to her religious beliefs and the fact that she wore a scarf that covered her head to a job interview.
According to a news report covering the recently filed case, the woman applied for a job as a customer service representative at a check-cashing business. Later, the woman received a call from the manager, inviting her to come in for an interview. When the woman arrived, she was wearing a head scarf.
In the lawsuit, the woman claims that the manager immediately turned hostile when he saw that she arrived wearing the scarf. The manager reportedly asked the woman, “Are you going to be wearing that thing? … Because you will not be able to work with that on. Or will that be a problem for you?”
The woman explained that she wears the scarf occasionally when she fasts for religious reasons. The employer then reportedly told the woman it looked as though she was not going to be available for the shifts the employer needed covered. He handed the woman back her application and told her to return when she was “more flexible.”
The woman filed a New York discrimination lawsuit in New York district court, alleging that the employer refused to hire her based solely on her religion. She is seeking compensation for unspecified lost wages.
New York Religious Discrimination
Under state and federal laws, a prospective employee’s religion is a protected factor that New York employers may not consider when making a hiring decision. Of course, employers can base a hiring decision on one of countless other non-discriminatory reasons, and they often cite a legitimate reason in the face of discrimination claims. Thus, one of the issues that routinely comes up in religious discrimination cases is whether the employer’s proffered reason for not hiring a person is valid.
In New York discrimination cases, a burden-shifting analysis is used to determine whether an employer engaged in discriminatory conduct. Thus, once the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case of discrimination, the burden shifts onto the employer to provide a non-discriminatory reason for the employment decision. If the employer can do so, the burden then shifts back to the plaintiff to prove that the proffered reason was pretextual, or false.
Have You Been a Victim of New York Employment Discrimination?
If you believe that you have recently been a victim of illegal discrimination, you should contact one of the dedicated New York religious discrimination attorneys at the law firm of Phillips & Associates. At Phillips & Associates, we handle many types of New York employment discrimination cases. We fight hard for our clients’ rights throughout the entire process. Call (212) 248-7431 to schedule your free consultation today.
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