It’s illegal to treat a person differently at work because of his or her religion, whether the person is a job applicant or an employee. Both state and federal law prohibit religious discrimination – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Specifically, those laws prohibit discrimination against an individual because of their religion when it comes to any employment aspect, which could include firing, hiring, benefits, layoffs, pay, job assignments, or any other term of employment. It is also illegal to discriminate against an employee or a job applicant because he or she is married to someone of a certain religion. For example, it is illegal for a Muslim employer to fire an employee because he or she is married to a Jewish person.
It is also illegal under Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act to harass someone at work based on religion. Harassment can take a variety of forms, including offensive remarks about a person’s religion. If the teasing or harassment is very isolated and is not serious, the behavior may not be illegal. However, if the behavior is very frequent or serious that it creates a hostile work environment, the conduct is illegal.
Religious discrimination can also occur at work if employees are segregated because of their religion. For example, if an employer put certain employees in work assignments where they would not deal with customers because of their religion, that is discrimination under the law.
By law, employers are required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices or beliefs. Reasonable accommodation could include leave for religious events or religious practices or allowing employees breaks at certain times. However, this doesn’t mean that employers must turn their businesses upside down to accommodate an employee’s religion – an employer is only required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices.
If you have been discriminated against because of your religion, it’s important to act quickly. Employees who are discriminated against because of their religion have a short period of time in which to make a complaint. There is also a short statute of limitations under state and federal law in which to file a lawsuit. Therefore, it’s important to contact an employment law attorney for advice as quickly as possible if you believe you’ve been discriminated against on the basis of your religion.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that no employee should experience religious discrimination. If you have been unfairly discriminated against in the workplace in the San Francisco area, including Hayward, Oakland, Tracy, Fairfield, Berkeley, call Micha Star Liberty at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She will help you with your employment law case.