The United States is a nation that prides itself on religious freedom. Unfortunately, there are a few individuals who may not be as accepting of different belief systems. Even more dismaying is that some of these individuals are employers, leaders, or company managers. Religious discrimination in this nation is not tolerable in the workplace and laws are in place to protect employees from discrimination. If you have reason to believe that you are being discriminated against because of your religious beliefs and/or practices, you may have a valid claim against your employer.

California Religious Discrimination Laws: An Overview

There are many ways in which an employee can experience religious discrimination in the workplace. While many discriminatory practices may not be as evident, others can be outright depraved. Religious discrimination may involve treating a job seeker or an employee unfavorably because of his or her religious practices or otherwise the lack of certain practices. Under California law, employers are prohibited to discriminate against a worker based on religious beliefs. In fact, employers are mandated to provide reasonable accommodations to their workers so that they may practice their religion.

The following list highlights some of the most powerful civil rights laws in the State of California. If you are unsure if the laws apply to your particular case, consult with a qualified and experienced attorney.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, also known as FEHA, prohibits companies who have five or more employees from discriminating against or otherwise harassing a jobseeker because of his or her religious beliefs.

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, discrimination includes unlawful actions that are committed by company based on either a jobseeker or a worker’s religious creed or the association the jobseeker or worker has with another individual who has or is otherwise believed to have a religious belief.

The California Workplace Religious Freedom Act

The California Workplace Religious Freedom Act entails that religious apparel is also incorporated in the meaning of religious belief or religious observance. Moreover, that the terms religious observance, religious creed and religion incorporate all aspects of religious practices, observance, and beliefs.

Religious Freedom Religious in the Workplace is a Civil Right

Anti-discrimination laws not only protect employees who are a part of an organized religion but they also seek to protect those who have deeply assumed moral, ethical, and religious beliefs.

The State of California prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace when it involves the following:

  • Hiring an individual
  • Paying an employee
  • Promotions
  • Transferring employees

By state law, it is also unlawful to harass, provide unreasonable accommodations, and segregating workers due to their religious beliefs. It is imperative to keep in mind that these lists are limited. There are many other legal protections an employee or job seeker can benefit from. However, it is also important to remember that there are also minimal exceptions. In order to understand the complexity of these proclamations, it is important to seek the support and guidance of an attorney who has experience in workplace discrimination. 

Filing a Religious Discrimination Case Against an Employer in the State of California

There are two prominent agencies that enforce and oversee anti-discrimination claims. These are:

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing

If you are considering filing a discrimination claim against your employer, you will first need to submit the claim with one of these two agencies. The agency will then investigate the claim and ultimately send you a letter that will approve (or disprove) you sanding to file a lawsuit against the employer.

Obtain Legal Support

There are several proactive steps you can take to help your case, including taking detailed reports of the discriminatory encounter. Obtaining the guidance of an experienced attorney, however, can be considerably powerful to win your case. It is important to obtain legal support early in the case, since an attorney will be sure that your claim is submitted in a timely manner and under the appropriate agency. An accidental mishap can be detrimental, contact a professional attorney who can champion for your rights.