Religious Discrimination Claim in California

Religion is a very important factor in a lot of people’s life. For one, religious leaders teach their flock to lead more people to salvation by spreading the teachings of a particular religious group or sect, even at work. However, in a workplace, it is inevitable to have employees that are members of different church organizations. These can easily cause misunderstandings in the workplace. The religious organization that has the least representation in a particular workplace is the minorities, which can be subjected to bullying. More than that, these differences can cause misunderstanding, abuse, harassment, and discrimination at work.

Religious discrimination is one of the several types of employment discrimination in a workplace. As defined, this type of discrimination is committed when one person, whether an applicant or an employee is treated differently because of his or her religion. To prevent this, a law against religious discrimination was made. Title VII of the Civil Rights Code prohibits any kind of discrimination against an employee; and religious discrimination is just one of those stipulated in the law. Under one of the law’s provisions, any act of discrimination in any aspect of employment is prohibited. These aspects include hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and more. Ironically, this law doesn’t just protect people who are members of traditional, organized religions. Religious denominations such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism are all protected under Title VII’s provisions. Even people who are not members of any of these groups are also protected by this legislation that was signed into law in 1963.

What people should know about is that any form of harassment against anybody constitutes an act of discrimination. While teasing, offhand comments, and isolated incidents of discrimination can be tolerated at times, serious acts of harassment that creates a hostile and offensive work environment. Employers and supervisors commit such acts of discrimination whenever they make adverse employment decisions like demoting or firing members of their team because of one’s religion and affiliation with one, constitutes a violation of this religious discrimination law.

Harassment is also considered a form of discrimination. Anybody can be a suspect for such offense. A simple co-employee, your direct supervisor or any supervisor in the office, even clients or customers of the company can say or commit things that are offensive to one’s religious beliefs. Teasing, making offhand comments may not necessarily be an act of discrimination at face value. However, the frequent commission of those acts or the continuous act of offending or going against someone’s religious beliefs can be considered discrimination as well. This includes the sudden demotion or firing an employee because of his religious beliefs. That is why it is critical that one be more sensitive to the feelings of a co-worker, especially the things that they believe in.

For certain religious denominations, males or females are required to wear customary clothing. They may also need to follow religious observances that require them to wear certain, uncommon articles of clothing. Males are even tasked to maintain certain hairstyles and keep facial hair. Its members must follow these unique customs and traditions observed by certain religious groups. That is why an employer is committing an act of discrimination if he or she segregates employees that are members of minority, or “odd” religious denominations because of these unique customs that some people observe. If anything, a good employer should provide reasonable accommodation to these members of the workforce and show respect to their religion, especially if it does not cause undue hardship to other employees and customers of the business.

There is nothing wrong in believing or not believing in God. There is also nothing wrong with professing that love for your God by following your religion’s customs and traditions. That is something that should be respected by the people around you, even in the workplace. That is why if you experience being discriminated by your colleagues, supervisors, employers, even the customers or clients of the company you are in, it is best to stand up for your rights and file a religious discrimination case to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Labor (DOL) or the courts. This way, you’d be able to stop these acts of discrimination against you and save others as well from being harassed and abused by some people around you.

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