Religious Discrimination & Harassment
Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. Also, an employee cannot be forced to participate (or not participate) in a religious activity as a condition of employment.
Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices. This is known as a hostile or offensive work environment.
Discrimination and harassment can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination/harassment are the same religion.
Religious Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation
Employers in New Jersey must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship on the employer’s operation of its business. This means an employer may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice his or her religion. Examples of some common religious accommodations include flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, and modifications to workplace policies or practices.