In the initial months after September 11, 2001, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received a 250 percent increase in the number of religion-based discrimination complaints against those perceived to be Muslim or Arab. Unfortunately, more than 12 years later, the EEOC continues to see an increase in the number of complaints being filed involving religious discrimination against Muslims or those with a Middle Eastern background.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Employers may not retaliate against employees for asserting their rights under Title VII.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan (CAIR-MI), an organization affiliated with America’s largest Islamic civil rights and civil liberties advocacy group (CAIR), provides legal representation to both employees and prospective employees who have experienced religious discrimination at their workplace.
Through various avenues, including mediation, arbitration and litigation, CAIR-MI advocates on behalf of employees to ensure their reasonable religious accommodation requests are met. To offer a recent example, CAIR-MI filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim woman that was fired from her employment after accepting Islam and choosing to wear the hijab.
On the other hand, through our Safe Spaces program, CAIR-MI works proactively with employers to implement policies that both accommodate employees’ religiously-held beliefs which take steps to prevent religious harassment in the workplace.
If you believe you have been subjected to religious discrimination at your workplace, please contact our office at (248) 559-CAIR or email firstname.lastname@example.org and file a complaint.