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San Diego Religious Discrimination Lawyer

No employee should ever face discrimination based on their religious beliefs, not in California or not anywhere else in the US. Unfortunately, religious discrimination does occur. At Walker Law PC, we are here to help if you need a San Diego religious discrimination lawyer by your side. We have extensive experience handling complex employment law claims throughout California, and we know what it takes to investigate these incidents and help wronged employees recover compensation and justice for what they experienced.

Why Choose Walker Law PC?

  • At Walker Law PC, we take pride in the effort we put into protecting San Diego workers. We believe that everyone should be able to work in a discrimination-free environment.
  • Our employment law attorneys in San Diego have the experience and skills needed to navigate complex state and federal employment laws to help clients reach a successful outcome.
  • We have no problem taking a claim to the courtroom if that is what it takes to ensure our clients are treated fairly.

What Are The Laws Protecting Religious Freedom?

There are laws at both the state and federal levels that protect employees from religious discrimination. Federally, we can turn to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and see that religious discrimination “treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs.” This law protects not just those who adhere to a major, established religion, but also those who hold sincere ethical or moral beliefs.

We can turn to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to see that this state also takes religious discrimination seriously. The FEHA prohibits employers from harassing or discriminating against an applicant or employee due to their actual or perceived religious beliefs.

What Are Common Examples of Religious Discrimination?

There are various ways that religious discrimination can occur in the employment environment. This includes discrimination against employees as well as applicants for a position. Under both state and federal law, it is unlawful to discriminate due to a person’s religion, and this includes:

  • Refusing to hire someone due to their religious beliefs
  • Turning away training opportunities because of a person’s beliefs
  • Terminating employment of a person because of their beliefs
  • Discriminating in terms of compensation, promotion, shifts, or other opportunities due to religious beliefs

Any of this discrimination can occur based on a person’s religious creed, their observances, their dress, and grooming practices.

Even though there are countless ways that a California employee or applicant could experience religious discrimination, we want to give some theoretical examples of how this could come up on the job:

  • An employer refusing to allow a person to take time off to observe their religious holy days, including but not limited to:
    • Hanukkah
    • Passover
    • Rosh Hashana
    • Yom Kippur
    • Ramadan
    • Eid Al-Fitr
    • Al-Hijra
    • Holi
    • Maha Shivratri
    • Diwali
  • Not allowing employees to wear religious garb, such as:
    • Hijab
    • Turbans
    • Crosses
    • Prayer beads
  • Not allowing religious grooming practices such as:
    • Facial hair observances
    • Rastafarian dreadlocks
    • Uncut hair
  • Forcing duties that go against religious beliefs
  • Commenting disparagingly about a person’s religion

Accommodating Religious Practices in the Workplace

California law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations based on an employee’s religious beliefs or creed. This includes allowing individuals to observe holidays, dress according to their beliefs, apply their religious grooming practices, allow a person to be excused from duties that violate their beliefs, and more. Reasonable accommodations should include allowing prayer in the workplace in a private area or at regular daily intervals.

These reasonable accommodations are required by law, so long as they do not place an undue hardship on the employer. The standard of “undue hardship” can be difficult to define but is generally meant to mean that the accommodation would cause minimal issues for the employer and other employees.

Under no circumstances can an employer retaliate against an employee for requesting accommodations, practicing their beliefs, or for filing a complaint related to workplace discrimination.

What Are Your Options?

If you are in the San Diego area and have experienced religious discrimination in the workplace, you have options. You need to reach out to an employment law attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to offer a free consultation of your claim and help determine the best steps moving forward. Please understand that there are strict deadlines in place for filing these claims. An attorney can help ensure your claim gets filed on time.

The EEOC enforces federal discrimination claims, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) enforces discrimination claims at the state level. Generally, the DFEH will investigate the claim, but there are situations where the claim with be dual-filed with the EEOC.

Depending on how the initial complaint is resolved, the employee may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer (after receiving a “right to sue” notice from the DFEH or EEOC). If a claim is successful, the worker may be able to receive various types of compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Any front or back pay owed
  • Higher-income/lost wages from a promotion that was denied
  • Higher-income due to a raise that was denied
  • Additional benefits that were denied
  • Bonus payments that may have been lost
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional distress damages
  • Reinstatement to a job if terminated
  • Reimbursement for attorney fees and court costs

Call a San Diego Religious Discrimination Attorney Today

If you or somebody you care about has been the victim of religious discrimination in a San Diego workplace, turn to the team at Walker Law PC as soon as possible. We want to get started on your claim so we can investigate the situation, open a dialogue with your employer, and help you obtain justice and compensation for what happened. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. When you need a San Diego religious discrimination lawyer, you can reach out to us for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or calling us at (619) 839-9978.

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