Protecting your rights in the workplace.

How to Report Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Religious discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue that can create a hostile and unproductive work environment. It occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because of their religious beliefs or practices. If you experience religious discrimination at work, it’s important to take action.

Understanding Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination involves treating individuals differently because of their religious beliefs or practices. It includes:

  • Harassment: Offensive remarks, jokes, or actions related to an individual’s religion.
  • Denial of Accommodations: Refusing to accommodate reasonable requests for religious practices, such as prayer times or wearing religious attire.
  • Adverse Employment Actions: Unfair treatment in hiring, firing, promotions, or job assignments based on religion.

Steps to Report Religious Discrimination

Document the Discrimination

The first step in reporting religious discrimination is to document all incidents meticulously. Keep a detailed record of discriminatory actions, including dates, times, locations, people involved, and any witnesses. Save any relevant emails, messages, or other communications that may support your claim. This documentation will be crucial when you report the discrimination and if legal action becomes necessary.

Review Company Policies

Most organizations have policies and procedures for reporting discrimination. Review your employee handbook or company policies to understand the proper steps for filing a complaint.

Report to Human Resources

Contact your Human Resources (HR) department to report the discrimination. Provide them with your detailed documentation and any other evidence you have collected. Be clear about the nature of the discrimination, how it has affected you, and what you are seeking in terms of resolution (e.g., stopping the harassment, providing reasonable accommodations).

Follow Up in Writing

After your initial report, follow up with a written complaint to ensure there is a formal record of your concerns. Address your letter to the HR department or the appropriate company official, summarizing your experiences and the steps you have already taken. Keep a copy of this letter for your records.

Seek Support from a Trusted Colleague or Employee Resource Group

If you feel comfortable, discuss your situation with a trusted colleague or an employee resource group (ERG) that focuses on diversity and inclusion. They can offer support, advice, and may help amplify your concerns within the organization.

File a Formal Complaint

If your internal complaint does not resolve the issue, you can file a complaint with California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Both enforce laws prohibiting employment discrimination. You can file a complaint online, by mail, or in person at an EEOC office. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your experiences and any steps you have already taken to address the issue within your company.

Consult a Lawyer

If you believe your case is particularly complex or if you are considering legal action, consult a Los Angeles religious discrimination lawyer as soon as possible. They can provide guidance on your rights, help you navigate the reporting process, and represent you if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.

Contact an LA employment attorney at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani, LLP for a free consultation today.