SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION LAWYERS
The 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right of religious freedom to all Americans. This right is extended to the workplace, where harassment or discrimination of a person who holds particular religious beliefs is deemed illegal. The prohibition applies to adherents of the world’s major religions, and also to those who hold other sincere religious beliefs, for example Wiccans or Atheists.
Accommodating Religious Practices
Title IV of the Equal Opportunity Employment Act also states that an employer must make reasonable accommodation for a person’s religious beliefs, provided it doesn’t create undue hardship on the employer or co-workers. Examples cited by the EEOC of appropriate accommodation would be allowing time off for religious holidays that are different from those of the majority, or respecting certain styles of dress or grooming associated with religious beliefs, such as the wearing of a hijab by a Muslim woman, a yarmulke by a Jewish man, dreadlocks by a Rastafarian, or an uncut beard and hair by a Sikh. Segregating the person from public contact is not a reasonable accommodation. Allowing any employee to be subjected to ongoing slurs or the demeaning of the employee’s religious beliefs may create a hostile work environment that can expose the company to a complaint and lawsuit for religious discrimination or harassment.
Determining whether an accommodation for religious belief or practice constitutes undue hardship for an employer can be difficult and contentious. For example, when a pharmacist refuses to dispense emergency contraception (the morning after pill) because it violates a religious belief of his or hers, in that this kind of contraception is the equivalent of an abortion, is that a reasonable expression of religious belief or is the pharmacist’s refusal creating an undue hardship on the pharmacy and on the woman who is exercising her legal choice to use the contraception? These are complex and emotional issues that require sensitivity to diverse beliefs and ideas.
Southern California Religious Discrimination Lawyers
When you feel you’ve suffered in the workplace because of your religious beliefs, you need a religious discrimination lawyer with experience and detailed legal knowledge. The employment litigation attorneys at the California Employment Legal Group have extensive experience in handling California religious harassment and discrimination cases. We are sensitive to the sincere beliefs of our clients and are well-informed about the outcomes of similar cases in state and federal courts, and how those decisions can be used to make your case. When the employer’s harassment or discrimination is especially egregious, we will request punitive damages to deter the behavior in the future, and will also attempt to have you awarded your attorney fees and expenses, which could potentially put more money in your pocket.
The United States was founded on the belief of religious freedom. At the California Employment Legal Group, we are passionate in our commitment to preserving a work environment that respects the constitutional and human rights of every individual, to practice their religious beliefs without interference while earning a living and advancing on their chosen career path. Call the California Employment Legal Group for representation in your religious discrimination or harassment case. We’ll review your situation and pinpoint where the harassment or discrimination occurred, whether the company deliberately looked the other way or actively participated, and whether you made every reasonable attempt to allow the company to handle the problem internally. We will also help you file an official complaint with the EEOC or California Labor Commissioner. Every case we accept is treated, from the beginning, as if it will be tried, although we can often settle out of court.