Know Your Rights
Your Legal Rights as an Employee
NOTE: The following is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For any questions about the material herein or about a specific case, please consult with your attorney.
Federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of religion, race, or national origin.
- Reasonable religious accommodation.
- The failure of an employer to reasonably accommodate your religious practices may constitute employment discrimination.
- Religious practices’ include wearing a beard, prayer breaks, hijab and going to Jummah (Friday) prayers.
- Fairness in hiring, firing, and promotions.
- Your employer is prohibited from considering religion when making decisions affecting your employment status.
- A non-hostile work environment.
- Your employer must ensure that you are not subjected to anti-Muslim insults, harassment or unwelcome and excessive proselytizing.
- Complain about discrimination without fear of retaliation.
- Federal law guarantees your right to report an act of alleged employment discrimination.
- It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for your complaint.
- Remain calm and polite.
- Inform the offending party that you believe his/her actions are discriminatory.
- Report the discriminatory action in writing to company management.
- Begin documenting the discrimination by saving memos, keeping a detailed journal, noting the presence of witnesses and making written complaints.
- Make sure to keep copies of all materials.
- It is important to keep a “paper trail” of evidence.
- Call CAIR-Iowa at (319) 573-6617, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 800-669-4000, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, or your city’s civil rights agency to educate yourself about legal options.
- Contact a local attorney who is licensed to practice in your state to discuss your case.
- DO NOT sign any documents or resign without an attorney’s advice.
- Ask to be transferred to another department or job site.
- Ask for mediation.
- Contact CAIR to file a report.
- Consider looking for a new job.
- You have the right to inform others about your religion.
- You have the right to pass out literature or speak to others about Islam, as long as it is not done in a disruptive manner.
- You have the right to wear religious clothing.
- You also have the right to wear clothing with a religious message, as long as other clothes with similar messages are allowed.
- You have the right to organize student-led prayer on campus, as long as the service is not disruptive to the function of the school.
- You may have the right to attend Friday prayer. The Supreme Court has upheld the right of states to allow students “release time” to attend religious classes or services.
- You have the right to be excused from school for religious holidays. You should be sure to inform the school that you will be absent in advance.
- You have the right to be excused from class discussions or activities that you find religiously objectionable. If you have any questions, please contact CAIR.
- You have the right to form an extracurricular Muslim student group.
Your Legal Rights as an Airline Passenger
As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel.
You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory.
If you believe you have been treated in a discriminatory manner, immediately:
- Ask for the names and ID numbers of all persons involved in the incident.
- Be sure to write this information down.
- Ask to speak to a supervisor.
- Ask if you have been singled out because of your name, looks, dress, race, ethnicity, faith, or national origin.
- Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.
- Write down a statement of facts immediately after the incident.
- Be sure to include the flight number, the flight date, and the name of the airline.
- Contact CAIR to file a report.
- If you are leaving the country, leave a detailed message, with the information above at 202-488-8787.
- "FBI Interviews: Knowing the law can protect you" by Ahilan Arulanantham and Ranjana Natarajan. InFocus News. http://www.infocusnews.net/content/view/1036/200/
- "Got Rights: Protect yourself and your family at home and at the airport" a video by Muslim Advocates. http://www.muslimadvocates.org/get_involved/got_rights.html
- To file a complaint with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division http://www.justice.gov/crt/split/complaints.php
COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS IOWA CHAPTER