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Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination occurs when an applicant or employee is treated unfairly because of their religious beliefs. It also includes treating someone differently because they are married to or partners with an individual of a particular religion.  This includes not only members of traditional religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also lesser known religions and others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or non-theistic moral beliefs on ultimate fundamental questions of life, purpose and death.  These beliefs are considered ‘religious’ under the law if they are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.


Sometimes religious discrimination is subtle and not obvious.  It may come in the form of strict dress codes that interfere with the employee’s religious practices in wearing particular religious dress or hairstyles, such as a Jewish yarmulke, a Muslim hijab, Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard.  It may be an inflexible attendance policy that interferes with religious observances.  


Unless it would be an undue hardship on the employer's operation of its business, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices. 


Sometimes an accommodation is not at issue, but the employee is subjected to discrimination or harassment, or retaliation for reporting it.  




Harassment is behavior that is demeaning, degrading and offensive, and can take on the forms of name-calling, using derogatory labels, mocking, being ostracized or socially excluded, offensive gestures, offensive depictions, physical blocking, or even physical threats and assault. All persons are entitled to a workplace that is free from unwelcome behavior that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive based on their religious beliefs. 




Discrimination occurs if you are treated differently in terms of an official employment action, such as: 


•  Hiring and firing

•  Promotions and demotions

•  Unequal pay for comparable work

•  Allocation of raises and benefits

•  Assigning hours, shifts, days off

•  Assigning work and projects

•  Negotiating leaves of absence

•  Fringe benefits

•  Other terms and conditions of employment


Your employer cannot retaliate against you for requesting an accommodation for observance of a religious practice or for reporting religious discrimination or harassment.  Click here to learn more.

Employers with five or more employees cannot discriminate against individuals in these terms and conditions of employment because of their religious beliefs. 

We'll help you assert your rights.


If you believe that you have been harassed or discriminated against because of your religious practices or beliefs, call us for a free consultation. Our office generally works on a contingency-fee basis for these claims and we do not get paid unless you recover.  Sandra M. Falchetti has been handling harassment and discrimination cases for almost 20 years. Our Firm will fight tirelessly to protect and defend the rights of every employee to work in a place that is free from harassment, discrimination and retaliation. 


We are just a phone call away, and everything you tell us is confidential.  


Call the Falchetti Law Firm at (626) 831-9070  or email us here.

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