Under both state and federal law, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against workers or job applicants based on their religion or religious practices. These discrimination laws protect against treating applicants and workers differently because of their religious beliefs. These laws are broad enough to cover both organized and traditional religions, such as Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. They also cover others who sincerely hold ethical, religious, and moral beliefs. Finally, these anti-religious discrimination laws also protect against people because they marry or associate themselves with another who belongs to a particular religion. When your employer is actively discriminating against you based on your religion, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney who can advocate for your rights.

State of California Religious Discrimination Law

Based on current California law, it is illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire a person based on his or her religion. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because of the potential conflict between the individual’s religious beliefs and work requirements. Furthermore, workers will need to provide reasonable accommodation for a person’s religious beliefs, which may include observance of religious holidays or necessary time to travel to and from a religious observance.

The state’s Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) expanded the protections offered under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act when it comes to religion. The WRFA states that accommodation aspects of these anti-discriminatory laws extend to a person’s grooming and/or dressing practices, which include jewelry, facial hair, and even certain attire. Also, the WRFA clarifies that the defense for “undue hardship” for disability or religious accommodations requires more stringent showing on behalf of the employer as opposed to federal standards.

Federal Law Protections on Religious Discrimination

Federal law protects against religious discrimination in the workplace, which includes the harassment of a person because of his or her religion. Harassment can include offensive remarks about a worker’s beliefs, practices, or religion. Additionally, federal law makes it unlawful to segregate employees on the basis of their religion, including their grooming and/or clothing. For instance, employers cannot disallow a worker from getting in contact with customers because of the fear of how the customer will react to the worker’s religion. Ultimately, employers cannot force their employees to participate or not participate in certain religious practices.

Obtain the Qualified Support of a Knowledgeable Employment Law Attorney

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your religion or religious practices, you should know that there are state and federal laws that protect you. Speak to a qualified employment law attorney who can represent your case and advocate for your rights.