Religious Discrimination in New York: A Comprehensive Guide

By Administrator | March 8, 2024
Inside of a place of Worship

In the vibrant cultural mosaic of New York, religious diversity is a cornerstone. However, the unfortunate reality persists that individuals often face discrimination based on their beliefs or practices. At DeToffol & Gittleman, we understand the complexities surrounding religious discrimination and are dedicated to guiding individuals through these challenges. In this overview guide, we delve deep into some the nuances of religious discrimination in New York, offering insights, legal expertise, and practical advice.

Understanding Religious Discrimination in New York

Workplace Discrimination

Instances of workplace discrimination based on religion can manifest in various forms. Employees might face bias, harassment, or unfair treatment, resulting in a hostile work environment. Such discrimination can lead to denial of promotions, unequal pay, or even termination based on religious beliefs.

Legal Framework and Protections

Navigating the legal landscape of religious discrimination requires an understanding of federal, state, and local laws designed to safeguard individuals’ religious rights. In New York, laws such as the New York State Human Rights Law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provide protections against religious discrimination.

New York State Human Rights Law

This law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit based on an individual’s religion. It mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodations for religious practices unless it poses an undue hardship.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Title VII protects individuals from discrimination based on religion in workplaces with 15 or more employees. Employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices unless it causes undue hardship to the business.

Under Title VII, the undue hardship defense to providing religious accommodation requires a showing that the proposed accommodation in a particular case poses a “more than de minimis” cost or burden, which is a far lower standard for an employer to meet than undue hardship under the ADA, which is defined in that statute as “significant difficulty or expense.”

Among other obligations, this duty to accommodate “prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant to avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship.” undue hardship is defined as “more than a de minimis,” or minimal, cost or burden on the operation of the employer’s business. Employers can typically satisfy this showing easily because most available accommodations require employers to incur more than minimal cost. Thus, an employer would likely successfully argue that allowing an employee not to be vaccinated costs the employer more than a minimal amount. For example, an employer might successfully argue that allowing an employee to wear a mask instead of being vaccinated would impose an undue hardship:

– Masks are not always effective at prohibiting the transmission of disease.
– For a mask to be most effective, it must be worn correctly, but enforcing correct and constant wear can be difficult.
– Given the difficulty of enforcement and the mixed effectiveness of reducing transmission, mask-wearing is not a substitute for vaccination.

How DeToffol & Gittleman Can Help

As experienced attorneys specializing in religious discrimination cases, we are committed to advocating for individuals who have faced discrimination based on their religion. Our firm offers:

Legal Expertise and Representation

Our team possesses extensive knowledge of the laws pertaining to religious discrimination in New York. We assess each case meticulously and devise strategic legal approaches, ensuring our clients receive the representation they deserve.

Client-Centered Approach

At DeToffol & Gittleman, we prioritize our clients’ needs. We offer compassionate support and unwavering advocacy throughout the legal process, empowering individuals to seek justice.

Proven Track Record

Our firm’s history of successful cases and satisfied clients speaks to our dedication and proficiency in handling religious discrimination matters.

Choosing DeToffol & Gittleman: What Sets Us Apart

Extensive Experience

With years of experience specializing in religious discrimination cases in New York, our attorneys bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to every case.

Personalized Approach

We understand that each case is unique. Our attorneys offer personalized attention and tailoring strategies to suit individual circumstances.

Strong Advocacy

We are staunch advocates for our clients’ rights. Our firm is committed to pursuing justice and ensuring that religious discrimination does not go unchallenged.

Steps to Take if You’ve Experienced Religious Discrimination

Document Incidents: Keep detailed records of discriminatory incidents, including dates, witnesses, and any communication related to the discrimination.

Seek Guidance: Consult with an experienced attorney specializing in religious discrimination cases to understand your legal rights and options.

File a Complaint: Depending on the situation, filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights may be necessary.

Consider Mediation or Litigation: Your attorney can guide you through potential avenues for resolution, whether through mediation, negotiation, or litigation.


Religious discrimination is a distressing reality that many individuals face. However, the law provides protections and avenues for recourse. At DeToffol & Gittleman, we are dedicated to fighting for justice and ensuring that individuals can practice their faith without fear of discrimination.

Contact DeToffol & Gittleman

If you’ve encountered religious discrimination in New York, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a confidential consultation. Together, let’s work towards a fair and just resolution.

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Laws vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another, and therefore, the concepts discussed here may not apply universally or to every case. Furthermore, laws, especially in this field, are subject to frequent changes. We make no guarantee that the information presented is current or accurate at the time of reading