If You Are Experiencing Religious Discrimination, Learn Your Rights!
The Law Forbids Religious Discrimination
The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion. This federal law applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The state of California also has a very strict prohibition on religious discrimination in the workplace. Its law is much tougher than the federal statute, and it is vigorously enforced. In California, employers are barred from engaging in religious discrimination in any aspect of employment, including interviews, hiring, promotions, transfers, professional counselling, and termination.
Federal law also prohibits harassment and intimidation in the workplace based on religious beliefs or non-beliefs. And if you launched a complaint about such wrongdoing, your employer cannot retaliate against you.
Religion in the Eyes of the Law
You need not belong to one of the major religions practiced in the country to have your rights respected. On the other hand, you cannot simply make up a belief on a whim in furtherance of some personal agenda. To qualify for legal protection, your beliefs must be sincere, and they must have a significant role in your life. Your beliefs must have something to say about the ultimate questions of life, death, purpose, and existence.
Political and economic beliefs are not the same as religious beliefs. If your case is ever presented to a court, the judge will typically look for evidence of belief in a divine power.
Your Employer Must Accommodate your Religious Beliefs
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that employers must offer reasonable accommodation for their employees to practice their beliefs. This includes policies and schedules that allow employees to engage in religious observances and practices. Your employer must also allow the following:
- A schedule that will allow you to attend ceremonies
- A schedule that will allow you to pray or break a fast
- Providing you time off to observe your Sabbath or religious holiday
- Writing a dress code that allows you to adhere to the grooming standards of your faith or to wear clothing related to it
Employers do not have to provide accommodation that would significantly affect morale, infringe the rights of other employees, or make the work environment unsafe. If your employer is reasonable and is intent on obeying the law and respecting the customs of each person’s religion, you should make a good faith effort to inform them of your needs. The best way to avoid legal entanglements with your employer is to give them plenty of notice when you need time off or a schedule change. You should also bear in mind the needs and schedules of your colleagues. They should not be unduly burdened to accommodate you.
The Protection of Non-Believers
There has been an increase in recent years of people with no affiliation with religion. Atheists and agnostics are also protected under state and federal law. Your non-belief should have no impact on your treatment as an employee. You should enjoy the same opportunities for training and advancement as everyone else. You should not be harassed or professionally excluded because of your non-belief, and you should never be pressured to conform to group or company-wide religious activities.
The last of these is especially important to understand. There are a great many companies with owners who are highly religious and make it a practice of promoting their faith in the workplace. Many of your colleagues may attend company-sponsored prayer meetings, church outings, and other types of activities, but you should never feel forced to do the same. And you should not be punished for refusing to take part.
If your refusal to take part in company-sponsored religious activities has hurt your career, then you should hire a religious discrimination lawyer Newport Beach. This is a form of discrimination and a religious discrimination lawyer Newport Beach can help you strengthen your case against your employer.
Holding Your Employer Accountable
If you have experienced discrimination for my religious belief in Newport Beach, it may be possible to resolve the matter informally. The failure to accommodate your religious practices may have been the result of a misunderstanding or oversight. If this is not the case, then there is still a way to avoid legal action. If you report the fact that you have experienced discrimination for my religious belief in Newport Beach and your employer took action against the persons who did it, then you may not need to hire a workplace religious discrimination attorney.
However, if you are unsatisfied with your employer’s response to your complaint, if you have been harassed or mistreated because of your belief or non-belief, then you should make the case against them. A religious discrimination lawyer can provide you with the insight and assistance you need. The first thing a religious discrimination lawyer Newport Beach will help you determine is what you want from your employer—that is, what remedy will satisfy the damage they have done to you.
Once you have determined the aim of the legal action, your workplace religious discrimination attorney will gather evidence against your employer. They will use the statements of other employees, text messages sent to you, and emails, letters, policy papers, and other documents from your employer to demonstrate that you have been wronged.
Your case is likely to be settled. As a result, you may receive back pay and other financial damages. You may also be reinstated and set back on track for advancement.
A lawyer for victims of religious discrimination can help you get justice. If you have been mistreated at work, then you should contact a lawyer for victims of religious discrimination to figure out your options.