I am a citizen of a U.S. state that does banking through a religion-aligned credit union. I do this because my religious leaders have concerns about certain practices related to banking, and I bank through certain institutions because of my religious beliefs. After some research I discovered that federal law and state law force employers who require direct deposit to allow me to receive direct deposit at my credit union. Recently, an employer conducted a job interview over the internet from another state with similar laws in place. (Their laws are actually more restrictive than my state's.) The employer extended a job offer, but added the condition that I must open a new bank account with a bank of their choice, and that I receive direct deposit at the bank on their choosing. When I brought up my need for a religious accommodation the employer went on to violate multiple other statutes related to Equal Employment Opportunity laws, even telling me someone of my religion shouldn't be expecting to work in the industry. I have been told that the employer's behavior constitutes violations of multiple statutes, some relating to banking, some relating to labor law, some relating to religious discrimination. Both civil and criminal law are implicated. I have been told I should sue, but I'm uncertain about what jurisdiction I'm supposed to sue in.

Is this matter one that would be pursued in my state's courts, the employer's state's courts, or federal court?

Does the answer change based on what combination of statutes I want to pursue the lawsuit under?

2 Answers 2


Ask your lawyer. If you are pursuing a lawsuit, you need a lawyer; and generally discrimination claims can't be filled in small claims court. You need a lawyer, you will (almost certainly, unless they work pro bono) be paying a lawyer, use them. (Also, see side bar note; this site "is not a substitute for individualized advice from a qualified legal practitioner"). You've "been told" many things, but none of these things sound like they've been told to you by a lawyer, much less by your lawyer, who has taken your case and has a legal obligation to give you good advice.

In general, Putvi's answer is correct: one should sue in the state where the law has been broken. Under the facts you have alleged, the company has broken the law in two states. However, your lawyer may see things differently, so ask your lawyer.

If the company has a presence in your state, I would sue there, as its easier for you travel to court. On the other hand, depending on the size of the company, the doctrine of Forum non conveniens, may allow them to force the case into a venue closer to them in their state (which decides the issue for you).

The company may have a presence in your state if they do business there, however their job offer may not comprise of legal presence, especially if you were expected to move to their state in the event of being hired. Ask your lawyer.

In conclusion: Get a real life lawyer. Ask your lawyer. Many lawyers (at least around where I live) will give you a free initial consultation to see if your case merits going further, and the general starting direction that should be pursued.

  • This answer has one remaining problem. "Ask your lawyer" presumably means "find a lawyer", which leads to the inevitable question "find a lawyer in which state?". Ideally you'd find one that's licensed in both states but this might not be easy, especially since you also want a lawyer that is familiar with employment law.
    – MSalters
    Nov 5, 2019 at 15:45

You sue in the jurisdiction where the law was broken, because the company broke the laws of that jurisdiction.

Generally though, things can be worked out civilly. Perhaps, try just talking to them and ask them to change if you feel wronged, before you go to court.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Dale M
    Nov 5, 2019 at 0:26

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