What You Can Do About Workplace Religious Discrimination in California

Find A California Employment Attorney for Religious Discrimination Claims


Your religious faith, beliefs, and affiliations are protected traits in California. If an employer makes hiring, management, and firing decisions based on a bias against your religious practice, you have the right to sue them for Religious Discrimination Claims. If this happened to you, contact a Labor Lawyer in California immediately.


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What Qualifies as Religious Discrimination in California?


Discrimination based on religion includes treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfairly. The law protects those who follow established, organized faiths and those who have particular religious, ethical, or moral convictions.


Religious discrimination can also entail mistreating someone because they are married to (or related to) someone who practices a particular faith. If you suspect you've been mistreated at work because of your religious beliefs, you should contact an employment attorney right away.

Recruitment, Wrongful Termination, loss of compensation, reduced work tasks, passing a promotion, layoffs, inadequate training, reduced benefits, and any other circumstance that may impact your employment are all prohibited under the law.

How Do I Know I'm A Target of Religious Discrimination?


There are several ways religious discrimination can take form in the workplace, but here are the most common cases:


1. Harassment


Harassing an employee because of their religious beliefs is unlawful in California. Harassment can take many forms, such as making disparaging remarks about a person's religious beliefs or conduct. A California Labor Law Attorney can assist you in determining whether you have sufficient proof of this form of discrimination.

Workplace harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or extreme that it creates a hostile and intolerable work environment.

While the law doesn't prohibit simple mockery, offhand statements, or isolated events that are not very serious, it is unlawful to create a very hostile and intolerable work environment when it is so prevalent or extreme.


2. Segregation


Title VII also prohibits religion-based employment or job discrimination (including religious dress and grooming habits), such as reassigning an employee to job positions of non-interaction with customers or separating them from other employees.


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3. Refusal to Give Fair Accommodations


The legislation permits an employer or other protected entity to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious views or practices unless doing so would impose a significant burden on the employer's business. This means that an employer can be justified in making reasonable changes to allow employees to follow their faith.

Some common religious accommodations include flexible scheduling, volunteer work replacement or swaps, role reassignments, and changes to company policies or procedures.


4. Lack of religious accommodations or discriminatory dress and grooming policies


Employers must reasonably accommodate an individual employee's religious beliefs unless it causes an undue hardship in the company's operation. Therefore, you must consult with a California Employment Attorney to assess your specific circumstances and determine whether your rights are being violated.


This relates to scheduling changes or time off for religious observances and actions that an employee engages in for religious reasons, such as attire or grooming.


Wearing certain haircuts or facial hair, for example, or wearing unique head covers or other sacred clothes (such as a Jewish yarmulke or a Muslim hijab) are examples of this (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). It also necessitates that an employee considers a religious taboo when wearing such clothing (such as trousers or miniskirts). To file a claim, a pre-screened employment lawyer will assist you in gathering all essential evidence.


If an employee or candidate requires a dress or grooming accommodations for religious reasons, he or she should inform the company. If the employer formally requests more information, the employer and the employee may engage in an open procedure to answer the request. If the accommodation is not too burdensome, the employer is required to provide it.


What Are the Types of Evidence Needed for a Religious Discrimination Case in California?


As soon as you notice prejudice or bias, pay attention and document them when they happen. The more proof you have, the stronger your claims.


Here are the types of evidence you can obtain yourself:

  1. Photo and video evidence. Whenever you catch discriminatory actions, document them on your phone. It does not have to be a coworker or manager speaking to you with blatant prejudice, but anything to prove a hostile working environment (i.e., offensive sticky notes, damage to property, etc.) will do.

  2. Electronic evidence. Collect your emails, take screenshots of your chat rooms, and preserve text messages. They do not have to have clear discriminatory language (i.e., slurs) to be considered an act of harassment.

  3. Employment records and receipts. Collect your paystubs, save your employment contract, and notice of punishments and suspensions. These can prove discriminatory and retaliatory actions on your employer's part.

Experiencing discrimination and harassment in the workplace is stressful enough, so it's best to let someone help you collect evidence. Hiring a California Employment Law Attorney means someone else can help you investigate (and perhaps have more resources to do so).

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What if My Boss Tries to Get Back at Me for Filing a Complaint?


In California, filing an Employment Law Claim is a protected action. Therefore, exacting any employment decisions on an employee as a form of punishment or revenge for asserting protected actions is illegal.


If you are experiencing retaliatory actions after having complained to HR or filed a claim to an agency, your Employment Attorney will most likely consider it as a case of Retaliation. If you were fired as a retaliatory action, then it is considered an act of Wrongful Termination.


What is the Statute of Limitations for Religious Discrimination Claims in California?


You and your California Attorney should file your claim to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (FEHA) within a year of the last discriminatory incident.


FEHA will either handle the claim themselves, or they give you the "right to sue." Once you are given permission, you will be free to find or approach your California Employment Law Attorney to file a claim.


Find A Religious Discrimination Lawyer in California


Gency.org can help you find a Contingency Lawyer for your Employment Cases in California. No win, no fees! You can complete our submission form for a free case review.

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