Albany, NY asked in Employment Discrimination for New York

Q: Is it fair that after six of employment I was told I could no longer wear my head covering without getting documents.

Hr was aware upon hiring and didn't ask for documentation however after six months I was told I needed paperwork

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
V Jonas Urba
V Jonas Urba pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Licensed in New York

A: "Head covering" could mean almost anything. An employment lawyer would examine your job duties first and foremost. Does your position description or your job duties pose a physical safety threat to you or others for wearing some type of unknown head covering?

Next an employer lawyer would want to review your employee handbook to determine whether head coverings are discussed therein. Some jobs demand or require head coverings which may be part of a business dress code or other legitimate business purpose.

Then the employment lawyer might inquire whether your head covering complies or is not in conflict with the above and whether the employee had requested such covering possibly related to medical treatments or maybe for other reasons which might include social custom and/or religion. But that discussion may follow the above.

Most importantly would be the specific communication between the employee and the employer. The overwhelming number of these scenarios are usually worked out amicably between employers and employees unless there are other, underlying issues which are creating conflicts separate and apart from the head covering.

The answer to this questions is much more complex than a simple yes or no and the industry, job performed, standards, policies, and reasons from both sides must be analyzed and evaluated. In the end, it's rarely a slam dunk open and shut case regardless because employment claims are so unique and so heavily dependent on timelines and factual details. This is especially true here because it looks like the employer initially had no problem with the covering but it must treat employees similarly. Every once in a while an employee or employer might create an issue which may not be supported by practices, customs, or logic and those situations need to be flushed out carefully. We can't just manufacture wearing something or prohibiting something without a uniform policy or procedure supported by rational thought. Each scenario must stand on its own specific facts and not disparately impact others. There are reasons for most all policies or practices and they are not simply manufactured to aggravate or antagonize a group of persons who are in a protected class. For example, if some group decided that pierced body part A or body part B with jewelry is recognized within their protected class but no one else had ever heard of that practice tied to that protected class of employee that employee would likely be challenged to prove their practice is protected as associated with the class to which they belong and requiring such proof would not, on its face, be discriminatory.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.