The United States was founded on the cornerstone of freedom. We are given the freedom to live our lives how we choose. We can say what we think without fear of retaliation from our governments, and we are afforded the freedom to express ourselves however we want. Despite the fact that we are afforded these rights, some employers continue to restrict them, making some people chose between earning a living and being who they are.
Recently, religious discrimination in particular has come to the forefront of political discussions. According to CBS New York, several instances of workplace discrimination around religious attire have been reported recently. Fortunately, our state’s legislature is working to stop it.
Last month, New York lawmakers started discussions about how to prevent employers from discriminating against a person for his or her religious beliefs. A bill was passed by the New York Assembly that would make discriminatory actions against individuals who wear religious apparel such as hijabs and turbans illegal. Several religious leaders supported the bill, and the New York Senate plans to consider it as well.
In this country, everyone has the freedom to practice whatever religion they choose — or to practice no religious at all. Just because your religious beliefs are not in line with your boss’ or the person who is interviewing you for a job does not mean you should face discrimination. As we wait to see what happens with the anti-discrimination bill, it is important to stay abreast of your rights as an employee. If you have been discriminated against, turned down for a job or fired because of your religious beliefs, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney who can explain your options.
Source: CBS New York, “Bill Would Ban Workplace Discrimination Based On Religious Garb,” June 23, 2013