As is the case throughout the country, employers in the Los Angeles area may not discriminate against employees because of their religious preferences.
Both under federal law and under California’s employment laws, religious preferences can include much more than an employee’s membership in a well-established religious organization.
A person’s sincerely held religious or spiritual beliefs can include ideas that are not necessarily part of any religion or that are some combination of many religious or moral views.
At the most basic level, a California employer may not fire, punish, refuse to hire or take other negative action against someone because of their religious preferences.
Even deliberately separating an employee of a certain religion by, for example, barring that employee from having customer contact is potentially discrimination.
Employers must also take reasonable steps to prevent harassment at the hands of an employee’s supervisors, colleagues and even customers.
Religious employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations
Employers in California also have to give what the law calls a reasonable accommodation to religious employees so they can practice the tenets of their faith at the workplace.
On the issue of reasonable accommodation, California law goes further than federal law in allowing employees to practice their religion.
While a California employee’s religion is not a free pass for an employee to do whatever they wish at work, an employer will have to show that accommodating an employee’s religious practice will create some significant trouble or cost.
A worker in the Los Angeles area who feels they have been treated unfairly because of their religion may have legal options available to them. If their employer has broken the law, the worker may be able to recover compensation.