Workplace discrimination is illegal in California. There are both state and federal laws that protect workers from having to suffer as a result of discrimination on behalf of their employer. In particular the California Workplace Religious Freedom Act, protects workers from suffering from discrimination based on their religion. This law, in particular, says that employers must make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs and religious observances unless these accommodations would cause undue hardship.
However, according to a new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, many California workers are suffering from discrimination because they are Muslim. The report claims that the Council received 933 complains — 444 in the Los Angeles area — about religious discrimination at work. These complains have included suffering from a hostile work environment, harassment about religious and political issues and failures to accommodate religious customs.
In one case, a woman was hired by a beauty store when she was not wearing a hijab — or headscarf. When she showed up to work with a hijab, her just was threated. After explaining the hijab to the store’s management, the woman says she was only assigned to the back of the store and her work hours were cut.
California workers who have suffered from workplace discrimination — including discrimination because of their religion, race, national origin, gender or sexual orientation — should know that they have legal rights. There are both federal and state employment laws that protect workers. No one should have to suffer from discrimination. With the right legal help, people can stop the discrimination and be compensated for any damage an employer’s discrimination has caused.
Source: KCET, “Are California’s Laws Prohibiting Workplace Religious Discrimination Enough?,” Sarah Parvini, Sept. 15, 2014