Steps Transgender Orthodox Jewish Workers Can Take When Experiencing Discrimination at Work

Submitted by Elizabeth on

If you are a transgender Orthodox Jewish individual who is being discriminated against at work, you should know that you are not alone. Both Jewish people and transgender people are often victims of discrimination in the workplace as well as discrimination throughout the hiring process. But you do not have to be a victim of discrimination at work, meaning that you are able to stand up to your employer and hold them accountable for the discrimination that you have experienced.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects workers from discrimination based on their race, gender, identity, religion, and place of birth. This means that your employer cannot discriminate against you, bully you, harass you, or retaliate against you if you do report your experiences of discrimination. Any individual that is a victim of discrimination at work is able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Community (EEOC) to get the justice they deserve.

The EEOC is a federal organization, meaning that it has the jurisdiction to investigate employers in any and all states. This also means that, when the EEOC turns over the results of their findings to the state, the state may also decide to investigate that employer. And, if your employer is found to be guilty of violating workers’ rights and discrimination policies, both the state and the Federal government can make them pay huge fines as well as potentially face both criminal and civil charges.

What Are Examples of Workplace Discrimination?

Discrimination against transgender Orthodox Jewish workers at work can look like:

Dress code restrictions

You have a Federally protected right to wear religious clothing at work if dictated by your faith. Therefore, your employer must allow you to wear religious clothing like wigs, prayer shawls, or yarmulke if your faith demands it.


One of the most discriminatory actions that takes place at work against transgender Orthodox Jews is the use of their deadname. If you have changed your name legally, then your coworkers and employer cannot continue to use your deadname. Instead, they must use the name that you have picked, changed your name to, and is now your legal name.

Not Making Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Practice

Employers must also allow and provide employees with reasonable accommodations to practice their religion. This could mean allowing you to pray in the break room during your shift or not scheduling you to work on Friday nights because you must attend religious service. You need to ask for reasonable accommodations in writing. And once you ask your employer for such accommodations, they must give you those accommodations or have a compelling legal justification for refusing.

Bullying And Harassment

Discrimination includes all forms of bullying and harassment. There is absolutely no gray area on this. The use of derogatory language or slurs, name calling, leaving you out of work trainings or meetings, not giving you a promotion that you have earned, and any other behavior that makes you uncomfortable or feel threatened, is considered discrimination.  

How To Prove Discrimination at Work

You must be able to prove discrimination in order to successfully figure out your case. It is critically important that you keep as much evidence highlighting the discrimination you are experiencing as you possibly can. For instance, you should save screenshots of texts or messages, emails, memos, work schedules, and any other evidence that you think will help your case.

The first step in a workplace discrimination case is taking your evidence to your employer and demanding that the discrimination be stopped. If your employer agrees to stop the discrimination at this time, then you may not need to file an EEOC complaint. However, if your employer does not believe you or thinks that you are lying about what you are experiencing, it is crucial that you go to the EEOC’s website and file a complaint.

Remedies for Antisemitic Discrimination

If your employer has violated your rights and has thereby subjected you to working in a toxic environment, you could receive a lump sum of money for the pain and suffering you have endured. You could also receive money for raises that you didn’t get or other money that you are owed by your employer.

Additional Resources 

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