According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, religious discrimination lawsuits have almost doubled in the past ten years. It seems as though we would not still have to be talking about religious discrimination, especially here in Inland Island and other areas of California thanks to our state’s very comprehensive religious discrimination laws and protections, yet here we are, still fighting workplace religious discrimination on a regular basis.
What our Inland Empire religious discrimination attorneys at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers want you to know is that you have the right to practice your religion, you have the right to not be discriminated against because of your religion, and you have the right to file a claim for redress and compensation for damages you have sustained due to religious discrimination. Our employment law attorneys appreciate a rise in religious discrimination cases because we hope that it means that employees are no longer tolerating religious discrimination and are standing up for their rights. This is the only way that employers will truly understand that they will not get away with discriminating against their employees and they must protect their employees from religious harassment in the workplace.
Religious harassment may include jokes, comments, or slurs that are offensive to an employee’s religion. It may also include other behaviors and actions aimed at disrespecting and insulting an employee’s religion creating a hostile work environment. Employers are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe working environment for employees and for prohibiting workplace religious discrimination against any employee.
Our clients often tell us that they fear filing a claim against their employers because they do not want to lose their jobs and they do not want to be punished by their employer for filing a religious discrimination claim. Both federal and California laws prohibit employer retaliation for filing religious discrimination claims. This means that employers are not allowed to take any actions that negatively impact an employee’s job such as firing or demoting because he or she filed a religious discrimination claim.
Remedies and compensation may include the following:
- Being hired, reinstated, or promoted if the court finds that a person was hired, fired, not promoted, or demoted because of his or her religion
- Lost wages and lost future wages
- Attorney fees and other legal costs such as expert witness fees
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Filing a religious discrimination claim
Religious discrimination claims may either be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In many cases, it may not make a difference to your case where you file your claim, but in others, it may be important to file with the California state agency because some of California’s laws offer more comprehensive protection and allow for more recovery options. If you are a victim of religious discrimination, contact our Inland Empire religious discrimination attorneys to discuss the facts of your case and legal remedies to which you may be entitled.