California residents may be interested in a case involving a Muslim employee of New York-based bank who has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was subjected to a hostile workplace. Specifically, she claims that she was told to remove her hijab and that it was referred to as a "rag" by her supervisor. Furthermore, the woman claimed that she was subjected to many racist statements.
To prove that a person was subject to a hostile work environment, a plaintiff must show that hostile acts were severe and pervasive. In other words, it must rise above the level of generally rude or inconsiderate behavior to be actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The acts must also be based on a person's protected status. A court will take a look at the facts of a case to determine if the acts could have posed a physical threat or unreasonably interfered with a person's ability to work.
According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit the evidence was borderline between issuing a summary judgement and allowing the case to continue. However, it ruled that there was enough evidence that a jury could decide that the employee was subject to a hostile work environment. Among the evidence used in the case was a statement from the woman's manager on Sept. 11, 2013 that she and another Muslim employee were suspicious.
Employees who believe that they were faced with religious discrimination in the workplace may want to file a claim with the EEOC or applicable state agency. Having the assistance of an attorney when doing so could be advisable.