In the state of California, it’s illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because of your religion. This doesn’t just apply to outright harassment–it also applies to more subtle forms of discrimination like disparate treatment. It might be hard to recognize disparate treatment at first, but over time, you might notice a pattern of behavior.
What is disparate treatment?
Disparate treatment is a form of workplace discrimination that involves treating you differently because of your religion. For example, an employer might refuse to hire you just because of your religion. If they do hire you, they might give you undesirable duties or refuse to promote you even though you have the qualifications.
Another form of disparate treatment involves making rules or policies that subtly discriminate against your religion. For example, if you need to pray at a certain time of day, your employer might instate a policy that only allows you to take a break at a certain time. They could also forbid people from wearing head coverings or requesting Sunday off so they can go to church. An employment law attorney could tell you how to take action if this happens to you.
While your employer can’t discriminate against you because of your religion, they don’t have to accommodate every request. They might not have to accommodate you if your religion prevents you from completing your job duties. Similarly, they don’t have to give you excessive time off or let you try to convert your customers.
How do you know if you have a case?
If your religious beliefs don’t keep you from doing your job, you might want to talk to an attorney. You might have a case if your employer refuses to honor basic requests or refuses to promote you even though you excel at your job.