California law aimed at protecting religious rights of workers

The right of individuals to practice their religion is a basic right afforded to all who reside in the United States. However, when it comes to exercising the same religious rights in the workplace, many employers have limited their employees ability to do so by setting forth certain appearance guidelines that can conflict with an individual's religious beliefs. Such restrictions are about to be outlawed under a new California statute aimed at protecting the rights of workers concerning their appearance when it is tied to their religious beliefs.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law recently. It will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The law states that employers can no longer require employees to change their appearance to conform with company standards if their personal appearance is tied to their religious beliefs. The law also prohibits employers from separating certain workers from others based on this appearance. There is an exception possible if the accommodation would represent a significant difficulty or expense for employers.

According to one recent study, 12 percent of Sikhs have suffered workplace discrimination in the San Francisco area. It was also reported that in 2011, more than 500 workplace discrimination lawsuits had been filed in California. It is the hope of the government that this new law will now limit the number of these lawsuits, as companies will have a clear rule upon which to base their policies.

It is encouraging to hear that the California has taken protective measures to ensure that the rights of workers to practice their religious beliefs while engaged in their professional duties are protected. This law also should provide deterrence to employers who are engaged in such practices currently.

Source: CityTownInfo.com, "CA Law Prohibits Religious Discrimination in the Workplace," Doresa Banning, Sept. 10, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us - Free Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Pasadena Office
128 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Suite 204
Pasadena, CA 91103

Toll Free: 866-457-2590
Phone: 626-585-9600
Fax: 626-577-7079
Map & Directions

Downtown Los Angeles Office (Legal Fund)
250 1st Street
Suite 1201
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: 213-785-6999
Map & Directions