A Religious Beliefs Harassment Attorney Is Here to Answer Your Questions
If your employer, coworkers or customers treat you poorly because of your religion, then you could qualify as a victim of religious beliefs harassment. Your employer is legally obligated to protect its employees from this type of harassment. If your employer fails to prevent harassment in the workplace, then there are legal remedies available to you. A religious beliefs harassment attorney can help you select a legal strategy that offers you the best chance of receiving financial compensation. Our Los Angeles employment lawyers at YMS have compiled the following list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand religious beliefs harassment at your job.
California Religious Beliefs Harassment Frequently Asked Questions
- What Is Religious Beliefs Harassment?
- What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Religious Beliefs Harassment?
- What Should I Do If My Employer Is Committing Acts of Religious Beliefs Harassment?
- How Should I Respond If My Employer Fails to Adequately Address My Religious Beliefs Harassment Complaint?
- If an Employee Consistently Professes His Faith in the Workplace, Does That Constitute Religious Beliefs Harassment?
- What Is the Likelihood of My Religious Beliefs Harassment Complaint Holding Up in Court?
What Is Religious Beliefs Harassment?
Identifying religious beliefs harassment can be difficult. However, any conduct that sufficiently offends, humiliates, distresses or intrudes upon its victim, so as to disrupt the victim’s emotional tranquility in the workplace, affect the victim’s ability to perform the job as usual or otherwise interfere with and undermine the victim’s personal sense of well-being is classified as harassment
To prevail on such a claim, you must show that a reasonable person subjected to the same conduct would find that the harassment altered his or her working conditions, making it more difficult to do the job.
More importantly, recent changes made to California law have made it clear that even a single incident of harassing conduct is sufficient to create a hostile work environment, especially if the harassing conduct has unreasonably interfered with the employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Religious beliefs harassment occurs when you are the target of offensive or negative remarks about your faith and how you practice it, consistent unwelcome comments on your religion and religious comments that create a hostile work environment.
You can also be the victim of “quid pro quo” religious harassment. In these cases, someone pressures you to change your religious beliefs in order to avoid punishment or move ahead in your job.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Religious Beliefs Harassment?
There are different standards for proving religious beliefs harassment under federal law, as opposed to California law. Based on recent legislative changes, it is easier to show harassment under California law.
Specifically, under California law on religious accommodation, all an employee needs to show is that there was conduct that offended, humiliated, distressed or intruded upon the employee in a way that disrupted his or her emotional tranquility in the workplace, affected his or her ability to perform the job as usual or otherwise interfered with and undermined his or her personal sense of well-being.
The harassing conduct is illegal if a reasonable person subjected to the same conduct would also find the harassment to be severe enough to make it more difficult to complete the job.
The standard under federal law for proving a case of religious beliefs harassment is outlined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Specifically, an employee must demonstrate that all of these conditions exist:
- The harassment was based on his or her religion
- The interaction(s) were unwelcome
- The harassment occurred frequently enough that it created a hostile or intimidating work environment
- The employer shared some liability for the situation
How can you prove that these conditions exist? When harassment occurs, keep a written log of each incident. Be as specific as possible about the language used, anyone who observed the incident and how it impacted your work environment. A Los Angeles religious harassment attorney can help you determine whether or not your employer is liable based on the facts presented.
What Should I Do If My Employer Is Committing Acts of Religious Beliefs Harassment?
If the harassment comes from your supervisor, manager or company owner, then the company is strictly liable. The company communicates with employees through its managers and supervisors. When those agents participate in harassment, the company itself becomes an active party in your harassment. If the harassment is by a coworker, you should make sure to immediately report it to your supervisor or HR professional and document the fact that you have brought the matter to their attention.
You should also use every available workplace protection, including those outlined in your company’s anti-harassment policies. Consulting with an Los Angeles work harassment attorney is also important, as the company may try to protect itself at your expense.
How Should I Respond If My Employer Fails to Adequately Address My Religious Beliefs Harassment Complaint?
After you have gone through the proper avenues and notified your employer of the harassment you are experiencing, they have a legal duty to prevent and correct it. If the harassment continues and the employer does not intervene, then it is time to explore your options with a workplace harassment attorney.
If an Employee Consistently Professes His Faith in the Workplace, Does That Constitute Religious Beliefs Harassment?
This is a touchy legal area. Employers must accommodate their employees’ religious beliefs, and if an employee sincerely believes that their religion requires them to proselytize, then they may be unable to step in unless it creates an undue hardship.
However, an employee’s right to profess their religion cannot interfere with your right to a workplace free from religious harassment. If an employee’s comments are pervasive, offensive and unwelcome, then they may be a form of religious beliefs harassment.
What Is the Likelihood of My Religious Beliefs Harassment Complaint Holding Up in Court?
It is difficult to answer this question without knowing the specific details of your situation. It all depends on how much evidence you have and how much the harassment is documented. However, our goal is to create a strong case that stands up to scrutiny in court. When you schedule your consultation with our team of Los Angeles religious harassment attorneys, we will ask questions that help us determine how strong your case is and which outcomes are possible.
Protect Your Workplace Rights With the Help of a Religious Beliefs Harassment Attorney
Being the target of workplace harassment can decrease productivity and cause significant mental and emotional distress. You deserve a safe and respectful workplace. If you have been victimized by religious beliefs harassment, then let us help. Reach out to YMS at (310) 499-0140 to schedule your consultation.