People discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of religion are often able to pursue claims against their employers for violating Title VII. Prior to filing a civil lawsuit, however, an aggrieved employee must exhaust any administrative remedies, and the failure to do so may result in the dismissal of the case. This was demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, in which the court ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s religious discrimination claims. If you were subject to unjust treatment in the workplace because of your religion, you might be able to recover damages, and it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable New York employment discrimination lawyer regarding your rights.
The Plaintiff’s Claims
It is reported that the plaintiff worked as a volunteer firefighter for the defendant fire department. He was suspended following allegations that he bullied another firefighter. At the completion of the investigation, he was removed from the defendant’s membership rolls. He then filed an employment discrimination claim against the defendant, alleging he was treated adversely due to his religion in violation of Title VII. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on the basis that he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required under the law. The court allowed limited discovery on the issue prior to ruling on the matter.
Consequences of the Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
Prior to pursuing a Title VII claim in federal court, an aggrieved employee must generally exhaust his or her administrative remedies by filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC. The purpose of this requirement is to give the administrative agency the opportunity to investigate the claim and potentially mediate and take remedial action. Continue reading