Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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Religious discrimination and reasonable accommodation

As is the case with other protected classes, employers in the Los Angeles area are prohibited from discriminating against their employees on the basis of their religion.

Under federal law, this means that an employer cannot refuse to hire, fire, discipline or take other adverse action against an employee because of her professed religious beliefs. Likewise, an employer must take reasonable steps to ensure that the overall work environment is not hostile to people of a particular faith.

Again, as is the case with other protected classes, California has its own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of religion.

One other interesting issue when it comes to religious discrimination is the concept of a reasonable accommodation. People of faith often have certain actions they must do or refrain from doing in order to practice their religion as they see fit. Examples may include attending worship services on a given day of the week or wearing a certain type of clothing.

Generally speaking, employers must give some deference, that is, a reasonable accommodation, to allow employees to follow the rules of their faith. So, in the case of mandatory worship services, an employer would ordinarily need to give an employee time off to attend services, assuming of course the time off is otherwise equivalent to what other employees receive.

However, employers do not have to accommodate all requests based on religion. For example, an employer does not have to accommodate a request that would be illegal, violate the rights of other employees or be unsafe.

Still, the point is that employees in Los Angeles should be free to believe and worship as they so choose without having to worry about how doing so impacts their jobs. If an employee is subject to religious discrimination, legal options may be available.

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