Religious Discrimination In The Workplace: Common Examples

May 18, 2022 Rager & Yoon Religious Discrimination

Both federal law and California law prohibit discrimination based on religion in the workplace. Sadly, some employers ignore these laws.

Religious discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. This overview will cover a few basic examples. That said, if you have any reason to suspect you have been the victim of workplace discrimination because of your religion, the best way to determine if you have grounds to take legal action is to consult with a workplace discrimination attorney. They can more thoroughly answer your questions on this topic.

Common examples of workplace religious discrimination include:

Refusal to Hire

Some employers may have an unofficial policy of not hiring members of certain religious faiths. Although such policies are illegal, an employer with a bias against a particular religion or those who practice it might nevertheless habitually deny employment to qualified candidates because of their religious beliefs and/or practices.

Proving that you were not hired because of your religious beliefs can be somewhat difficult. However, it is not impossible. A qualified religious discrimination attorney can potentially help you build a case if it can be demonstrated that a potential employer who chose not to hire you:

  • Has a history of rejecting candidates who practice a certain religion
  • Had made statements or engaged in activities indicating they may have a personal bias against individuals with religious beliefs which may conflict with their own
  • Asked about your religious faith at any point during the process of evaluating your qualifications

Imposing Unfair Requirements or Holding an Employee to Unfair Standards

Even if an employer agrees to hire you, that does not mean there is no chance they will engage in some form of religious discrimination in the future. For example, during your time with an organization, you may have observed that other employees seem to be able to earn promotions or raises more easily than you have been able to. 

There are a number of potential reasons your employer may be holding you to higher standards or imposing stricter requirements upon you when compared to other workers at the company. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible they are preventing you from rising within the company because, while they don’t want to fire you out of fear that they will be subject to a wrongful termination lawsuit, they also want to discourage you from continuing to work for them. Meet with a lawyer if you believe this is occurring due to your employer’s objection to your religious beliefs.

Failing to Reasonably Accommodate You

The law requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for employees in regard to their religious practices and traditions. What constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” can vary based on a number of factors.

For example, unless it would cause excessive hardship, an employer should allow a worker to dress in attire that corresponds with their religious practices. Additionally, whenever possible, employers should allow workers to take time off for the purposes of observing religious holidays.

Again, showing a court that an employer failed to make a reasonable accommodation and is thus guilty of workplace religious discrimination can be a complex task. This is not meant to discourage you from pursuing justice and holding an employer accountable. Instead, it is meant to emphasize the importance of coordinating with qualified legal experts when seeking compensation for any losses associated with religious discrimination in the workplace.

At Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, a Los Angeles workplace discrimination attorney is prepared to review the details of your case and discuss your legal options. For more information about how we can help, contact us online or call us at 310-527-6994 to schedule a free consultation.

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