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Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

Religious Discrimination


The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s religion and requires employers to reasonably accommodate their employees’ religious beliefs, observances, and religious practices. Religious discrimination is generally defined as discrimination by an employer based on your religious choices. This includes all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practices. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission maintains that the exact definition of religious discrimination is a harmful action taken against an employee in the hiring, firing, or other condition of employment because of their preferred religion. If you believe this is occurring to you, then you should seek legal counsel as quickly as possible.

Are You Protected If You Practice A Religion Outside Of The Mainstream?

In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are. Some may assume that religious protection only applies to the most widely practiced religions, such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. But that is not the case. An employee still qualifies for protection against religious discrimination even if his or her claimed religion falls outside of mainstream religious practices.

Your religion is protected if that particular belief, observance, or practice is sincerely held and occupies a place in the life of its possessor that is parallel to that filled by the God of mainstream religions. This includes Atheism. As a result, no one gets left behind simply because they maintain religious beliefs different from those of mainstream society.

Examples Of Religious Discrimination At Work

A religious discrimination attorney will advise you that often times religious discrimination in the workplace is not blatant. The truth is, employees frequently face religious discrimination without even realizing it is occurring. Religious discrimination encompasses so many different types of situations that could happen in everyday life.

For example, a simple slur or offensive joke about religion may be an example of religious discrimination. You should not be subjected to listening to any offensive jokes that people make about your religion. It is unfortunate that a lot of people feel that this is just something they have to deal with.

If an employer regularly and intentionally schedules important meetings and other company events during scheduled prayer times or religious holidays, this could an indication of racial discrimination as well. You may have experienced this from an employer who has dug in deep about your religious beliefs and wants to disrupt or disturb them.

Does My Employer Need To Be Flexible With My Religious Requests?

The short answer to this is “yes”. Employers are required to allow reasonable flexibility when it comes to an employee’s religious prayer times, holidays, or other special events that directly relate to religion. Furthermore, the FEHA specifically mandates certain flexibilities for particular religions. For example, the FEHA specifically protects observance of the Sabbath and other religious Jewish holy days, as well as a reasonable time to allow a practitioner to travel before and after religious observance times.

A law-abiding employer should sit down with an observant employee who has expressed concerns about this and listen to what the employee has to say. It may be the case that the employer simply did not know that there was a specific religious prayer time that was being impeded by scheduling practices.

Employees are encouraged to sit down with their employer and have a conversation about their particular religious practices, rituals, and needed accommodations. They may need to educate their employer about which particular days and times hold significant meaning to them as they carry out their particular religious practices. This will avoid potential issues for the employee and allow the employer an opportunity to accommodate.

Special State-Level Regulations

California is a state that allows individuals who have been discriminated against due to their religion to pursue legal action under FEHA.

Why You Need An Attorney

Just as with many other areas of the law, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney to help you get the justice you deserve. Experienced discrimination attorneys know how to help you protect your rights and obtain appropriate compensation. They know what kind of evidence needs to be presented in court, and how to gather that evidence.

Your Beliefs Are Sacred

Society and years of discrimination have forced people to think religious discriminatory action in the workplace is acceptable. Many people will reluctantly give up certain religious practices and customs in order to “fit in” at their company and will allow their employer to get away with committing or allowing religious discrimination.

Hiring an attorney to go after employers who participate in, or allow religious discrimination to run rampant, is the best way to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. Religious freedom is a pillar of our Constitution, and your religious preferences should be upheld in the workplace. In pursuing your case against your employer, you may actually be opening the door to helping others who were discriminated against due to their religious beliefs.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Will Fight For You

As a law firm that specializes in employment discrimination, we have the resources and expertise to help you build a strong case against your employer. Our team of dedicated religious discrimination attorneys will listen and substantiate every aspect of your case and fight aggressively for you.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of religious discrimination in the workplace, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers to speak to a religious discrimination lawyer. We work on a contingency basis, and we don’t collect any money unless we win. For a free no-obligation consultation, call our legal team anytime at (888) 888-9285



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