What You Should Know About Religious Discrimination in California

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: November 4, 2020

Everyone should have a right to their own set of religious beliefs or practices. Unfortunately, some people do not respect the different beliefs of others. In the California workplace, it is illegal to discriminate based on religion or creed. Religious discrimination occurs when someone gets treated unfairly or poorly because of his or her religion.

In addition to federal employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California employees are further protected by the following state laws:

California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on religion or creed. Protections apply not only to traditional and commonly recognized religions, but also to less commonly recognized belief systems. 

FEHA also prohibits the harassment of employees based on religion or creed. This protection covers employees, independent contractors, and applicants.

Additionally, FEHA prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes a complaint under this act, assisting in a complaint, or for opposing an action that would be considered a violation of the FEHA.

California Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA)

The California Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) amended the FEHA to require religious accommodation. WRFA requires that employers make accommodations for religious belief or observance including religious grooming and clothing.

According to the law, religious clothing should be broadly interpreted to include wearing religious clothing, face coverings, head coverings, artifacts, jewelry, or any other item that is part of the observance of the religious creed. Grooming should also be broadly interpreted to include all forms of facial, head, and body hair that is part of the observance of the religious creed.

WFRA also states that religious accommodation must not segregate the employee from customers or the general public. If it does, it cannot be considered religious accommodation.

If your employer has failed to provide religious accommodation at your workplace, you should contact a religious discrimination lawyer today. An experienced attorney can inform you of your rights and what you can potentially recover in a religious discrimination lawsuit.

Examples of Religious Discrimination at Work

Religious discrimination can take many forms. Some discrimination is direct while others are indirect. Regardless of the form, religious discrimination is illegal and should not be tolerated at work.

In California, some common examples of religious discrimination include wrongful termination, unfair job assignments, unfair hiring practices, undesirable work locations, or undesirable work hours.  Unequal access to promotions or training opportunities because of religion are also common workplace discrimination examples.

Religious discrimination is prohibited in both private and public employers, agencies, or organizations.

Contact a Religious Discrimination Attorney Today

Sadly, many employees are afraid to speak out because they fear losing their jobs or because they don’t know their rights. With the help of an experienced religious discrimination lawyer, you can file a lawsuit against your employer or harasser. A religious discrimination lawyer can inform you of your rights and make sure you get the justice you deserve. Contact Mesriani Law Group today to speak with an attorney about your potential case.