What Are the Most Common Types of Religious Discrimination?

At California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, we are committed to helping employees recover damages and seek justice for any religious discrimination they have suffered while at the workplace. Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe work environment, and if you feel attacked or mistreated, your employer is breaching that duty. Further, religious discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You are able to file a lawsuit against your employer through either the federal system, known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or your state’s Fair Employment Practice Agency (FEPA). Our clients are sometimes unsure if the experiences they have had at work constitute religious discrimination. They ask us questions like:

  • What are types of religious discrimination?
  • If my employer won’t accommodate my request, am I being discriminated against?
  • Can I sue my employer for not letting me pray at work?

Discrimination by Employer


An employer may discriminate against people of a specific faith in numerous ways, from outside of the workplace to within it, and from before employment to during it. Some of the most common forms of religious discrimination by an employer include:

  • Termination: Your employer may not know your religion for many months until he finds out from personal information or another source that you follow a specific faith. If he has a bias against followers of your religion, he may outright release you, but he will not explicitly say it is because of your religion. You may have to ask an attorney to find witnesses who would support your claim or similar cases with your employer.
  • Not Being Hired: Similar to being fired for following a religion, you may also not be considered for employment due to your religious affiliation. Employers cannot decide whom to hire based on religion, and if you were unfairly turned away from a position due to discrimination, you may recover damages from the company.
  • Unfair Job Duties: Your employer may give you additional or unnecessary tasks to complete, demand you travel to far or out of the way locations for work, or make you perform duties that make you uncomfortable or violate tenets of your religion.
  • Unfair Job Practices: Some employers opt to promote or reward employees who have similar or neutral religious affiliations. If you are scheduled to receive a promotion but a less qualified person who shares the same religion as your supervisor nets it instead, you may be the victim of religious discrimination. Further, if you are given less hours or unfair scheduling, you may have grounds to file a claim.
  • Refusal to Allow Dress Code Exemptions: It is not uncommon for a religion to have its followers don certain headwear, garbs, artifacts, jewelry, or outfits. These belongings may vary as to when they are worn and how often, but you can provide your employer with an accommodation request. If he denies your request, demanding that you must adhere to the dress code, you are likely a victim of religious discrimination. Further, your employer may not grant you an exemption for significant piercings, tattoos, beards, and hair styles, even though your religion has articles detailing the wearing of each.
  • Refusal to Allow Prayer: If your religion requires you to set aside time and space to pray each day, and your prayer time falls in your work schedule, you may request an accommodation for an extra break of a few minutes per day in a different location to pray. This location may be present at the facility, or it may require you to bring a mat or leave the premises. If your employer denies your request, you should look into filing a religious discrimination claim.

Discrimination by Co-worker


Your employer or supervisor is not the only entity that can discriminate against you for your religion. Co-workers may discriminate against you as well, in numerous ways. If this occurs, you should follow the procedure of asking them to stop; seeking assistance from your employer’s human resources department; and if that doesn’t work, pursue legal action through either the EEOC or your state’s FEPA.

There are multiple ways employees can discriminate against you, including:

  • Mistreatment: Co-workers may treat you differently, cold shoulder you, expose you to potentially dangerous situations, or prevent you from completing your duties. Religious minorities suffer this kind of mistreatment all the time.
  • Physical Violence: In some cases, co-workers or associates with the company may escalate a situation to the point that they engage you in threats or physical violence. Some members of religious faiths have been beaten up or assaulted for practicing their religions at work. This religious discrimination must be stopped, and the first step is by filing a claim.

The Firm that Cares for You


If you have been subjected to any of the aforementioned acts, you may be a victim of religious discrimination in the workplace. Your employer or co-workers can be held responsible for their actions, and you can receive compensation for your suffering. Stopping religious discrimination in the workplace is one of our primary goals, and we want to help all clients feel safe and secure while at work, unafraid of practicing their religions because of what may happen.

California Employment Attorneys Group is here to make sure you do not feel alone. We are willing to represent you in court and help you through the whole legal process, from filing a claim with either the EEOC or the FEPA to gathering evidence. You are our priority, and we dedicate our time to bringing you fair compensation, a tolerant workplace, and less worry in your life.

Contact our team of attorneys today to receive a free legal consultation on your case. Our firm is made up of numerous empathetic individuals who will listen to your claim and give you advice on how to move forward, as well as inform you of the nuances of the court of law.

We also promise a zero fee guarantee: if you let us take on your case and represent you, we front all the costs of the legal process and only receive payment from you after we have won your case, and only from the settlement you receive. We do not require you to pay any out-of-pocket expenses.

Call California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today to learn more about the types of religious discrimination in the workplace.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.