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Friday, January 27, 2023

Understanding Religious Discrimination

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a significant increase of religious discrimination cases in the United States. Starting 2001, the numbers have crossed the 2000 mark with 2,127 cases and now reached a high of 3,273 cases last 2008.

Los Angeles has been a home of different cultures and as a result, has become a home for different religions. Religion for most is also part of their heritage and culture that is why some religion can be associated to a person’s national origin.

This also leads to some confusion, and stereotypes are assigned because of impressions made of each group. This in turn, leads to religious discrimination.

The law advocates for tolerance, understanding and respect in dealing with people of different faith and beliefs.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees and workers from being discriminated upon their religion.

It protects the workers from religious discrimination during the process of hiring, termination and other conditions of employment.

The law covers all employers with more than 15 employees including employment agencies and government offices.

Here are some of the conditions where the law protects individuals from religious discrimination in the workplace.

• An employer cannot force an employee to join a religious activity as condition for his/her employment.

• An employer cannot treat one group favorably than other groups based on religious beliefs except if certain religious accommodations are required.

Some examples of violations to this law are:

o Refusing to hire a person because of religion.

o Require more rigid promotion requirements for people of certain religion.

o Assigning different or more work to an employee because of his/her religion and beliefs.

• A worker’s religious practices should be accommodated by the company unless it will inflict undue difficulties to the employer. It could be any adjustment made to the workplace so that the employer can practice his religion.

Examples of these adjustments are:

o Job reassignments

o Lateral movement

o Adjustments to grooming standards

o Voluntary work shift swap or substitution

o Flexible schedule

• The company is not required to accommodate an employee if it will cause undue difficulty or hardships to the employer.

The company can prove that undue difficulties are encountered if accommodating employees religious practices will:

o Decrease efficiency on other jobs

o Violate other worker’s rights and benefits

o Sacrifice workplace safety

o Cause other workers to be burdened by accommodated employees share of potentially dangerous work

o Conflict with existing laws/policies

• Companies must not prohibit religious expressions except if it will cause undue difficulties to the employer. The employer cannot impose stricter prohibitions on religious expressions than other expressions that may have comparable effect in the workplace.

• Companies must be active in preventing religious discrimination in the workplace.

Implementing anti discrimination policies like having proper venues for reporting and investigating discrimination cases can reduce the incidents of religious discrimination in the office.

In Los Angeles, religious discrimination lawyers can help you uphold and protect your right if you are discriminated based on your faith and beliefs.

They can also remind your company that retaliation on people who reported and are against discrimination in the workplace are protected from retaliation from employers and even fellow employees.

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