You have the right to practice your own religion, or no religion at all. This is what the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says. Unfortunately, some employers in California seem to forget this.
Each year, thousands of religious discrimination claims are filed by employees in California. Some succeed and win, others fail to prove discrimination in the workplace due to lack of convincing evidence.
Do you practice a different religion from your employer or even your co-workers and you noticed that you’re being treated differently? Does it necessarily mean that you’re being discriminated against because of your religion?
Today, our Riverside discrimination attorney at JML Law will spell out what can be considered religious discrimination in the workplace and what protections might be available in your case.
What is religious discrimination in California?
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited to discriminate against job applicants and employees on the basis of religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. Furthermore, the law requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of their employees.
If you are confused by the term “reasonably accommodate,” let our best discrimination attorney in California explain. The term reasonable religious accommodation refers to any necessary adjustment to the work conditions and workplace that will help the employee practice his or her religion freely.
These include voluntary substitutions, job reassignments, leaving work earlier or getting to work later to celebrate religious holidays, flexible scheduling and others. If your employer fails to provide you with any of the above-mentioned, you may be entitled to file a religious discrimination claim.
Examples of religious discrimination in the workplace
There is also a list of discriminatory actions on the part of your boss which violate federal and state laws in California and prevent employees from practicing their religion in the workplace.
- Prohibit employers from wearing religious dresses or maintaining a restrictive dress code
- Refuse to allow observance of a Sabbath or religious holiday (unless the employer can prove that this particular employee abstaining from work will cause “undue hardship” for the company
- Schedule selection activities not in line with the employee’s religious needs;
Refuse to hire or promote an employee because of his or her religious beliefs or practices
- Assign certain type of work to an employee just because of his or her religion
- Impose strict promotion requirements or offer a different amount of wages for employees of a different religion
- Expect employees from other religious to work overtime in order to compensate for the hours or days missed due to religious holidays or traditions
- Refusing to hire a job applicant because of his or her religion or because hiring such an individual would require a reasonable accommodation;
Forcing an employee to remove a hijab
- Refusing to allow employees to display religious icons or other expressions of religious belief in their work spaces
- Transferring an employee to a position with less contact with customers just because of his or her religion
- Not allowing an employee to discuss his or her religious belief during free time such as meal breaks.
These and many other examples of religious discrimination in the workplace constitute a clear violation of federal and state laws in California. If you’ve become a victim of any of the above-mentioned, seek immediate legal help from our Riverside religious discrimination attorneys.
Call JML Law to discuss your case today. Get a free consultation today by calling at 818-610-8800 or send an email for a free case evaluation.