Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo, LLC Attorneys at law
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Discrimination against Muslims may be on the rise

After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, there was a reported rise in workplace discrimination against those of the Muslim faith. Thankfully, over the next decade, that type of discrimination began to wane and become less common.

However, some reports have suggested that it may be increasing yet again. In fact, some numbers make it look worse than it was in the year following those attacks.

Immediately following the attacks, there were 1,463 claims of this type of bias in the workplace. By 2004, though, things looked to have gotten drastically better, and there were just 697 claims. The trend began to reverse itself, though, and jumped to 1,304 claims in 2008. In 2009, it had climbed all the way to 1,490, which exceeded the amount after the attacks.

There are many varied examples from over the years, a lot of which have to do with dress codes. A security company said that head scarves and other such religious clothing items couldn't be worn, and they even fired one worker for doing so. Clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch did not hire a young woman because she didn't have the right "look" and later noted that head coverings were not allowed. Workers at meatpacking plants said they were discriminated against during Ramadan, which is a time of fasting. Disney was sued for telling a worker to wear a hat as part of a uniform, rather than a headscarf.

These are just a handful of examples, but they show how discrimination can take place and that it may become an even larger issue going forward. Those in New Jersey need to know their legal rights when discriminated against.

Source: Human Rights, "Recent allegations of workplace discrimination against Muslims in USA," accessed June 28, 2016

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