Most often, in New York City, residents think of discrimination claims being issued by an employee against an employer. However, if an employer bypasses a candidate for a job on the grounds of the applicant belonging to a protected class, the employer could see themselves faced with a discrimination lawsuit.
For example, one man that was applying to work at an out-of-state manufacturing company is unable to work on his Sabbath, which means that from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday he would be unable to work. The company was unwilling to hire this man because of that. The man knew that he was wrongly being discriminated against and filed a lawsuit.
Accordingly, a settlement was recently reached which awarded the victim $25,000. Applicants similarly discriminated against either through the course of their employment or throughout the interview process could see legal remedy if they are discriminated against based on the grounds of their religion or any of the following:
- Ethnic origin
- National origin
This settlement sends a strong message that employers across the country, including here in New York City, are not permitted to bypass an applicant in the hiring process as a vehicle for evading a religious accommodation. If there is some circumstance in which an individual's observance of their religious practices would interfere with the nature of their work, employers must make an honest effort to provide some sort of accommodation for the employee or candidate.
Source: EEOC Newsroom, "Altec to Pay $25,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit," Dec. 21, 2012
- For more information surrounding employees' and potential employees' rights, please refer to our New York employment law page.