Islamophobia in the workplace is illegal under federal law, as are all forms of workplace religious discrimination. Depending on where you live and work, state laws may also apply.
Unfortunately, the existence of such laws hasn’t completely prevented religious discrimination from occurring in workplaces throughout the U.S. If you believe you’ve experienced Islamophobia in the workplace, the following guide explains what you may do to address it.
What Are Examples of Islamophobia At Work?
Religious discrimination in the workplace is sometimes overt. In other instances, it may be subtle. Examples of Islamophobia in the workplace include:
- Refusal to hire Muslims
- Disciplining Muslims more harshly than others
- Not promoting or offering raises to Muslims
- Not reasonably accommodating a Muslim employee’s religious beliefs (such as not allowing them to take a day off to observe a religious holiday)
- Harassing Muslim employees, or allowing harassment to occur
- Retaliating against Muslim employees for reporting or otherwise bringing attention to their concerns
If you’re not sure whether your experiences qualify as Muslim discrimination, consider speaking with a workplace discrimination lawyer. They can help you better understand your legal options.
What To Do If You Experience Islamophobia at Work
If you think you’ve been the victim of Islamophobia in the workplace, take the following steps:
- Report your concerns: Your employee handbook may describe the procedure for filing official workplace discrimination complaints. If it does, follow the steps accordingly. If there is no official procedure, report your concerns via a letter or email to HR or your employer. Stick to the facts and don’t allow emotion to affect the content of the letter.
- Gather evidence: Keep a journal in which you describe your experiences of Islamophobia in the workplace. You may also gather evidence in the form of witness statements, emails, chat logs, voicemails, and text messages.
- File a charge with the EEOC or a state agency: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles workplace discrimination complaints. You may file a charge with the EEOC or a local state agency when you believe illegal discrimination is occurring. The agency will conduct an investigation. If the agency finds evidence that illegal religious discrimination has occurred in your workplace, they may provide you with a Right to Sue letter.
Don’t delay if you plan to file a charge with the EEOC or a state agency. Although there are exceptions, often, you have 180 days from the time you experienced discrimination to file a charge.
Get Help With Your Islamophobia Claim
Pursuing justice when you believe an employer has committed religious discrimination or has allowed such discrimination to occur can involve a range of tasks. Along with gathering evidence, you may have to complete paperwork and correspond with various parties involved in your Islamophobia case.
You don’t need to handle these tasks on your own. You may simplify the process by seeking representation from a workplace discrimination attorney who can assist you with many of these tasks. For more information, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.