Can My Employer Question My Religious Beliefs?

worker wearing religious attire

A person’s religion is one of the most fundamental aspects of their identity. A person shouldn’t have to experience discriminatory remarks or be asked to put their religion aside in the workplace. If you’ve asked for accommodation or are being treated differently because of your religion, you might be wondering how much your employer is entitled to know about your beliefs.

Religion in the Workplace and Reasonable Accommodation

In most cases, your employer isn’t entitled to ask you about your religious beliefs. However, your employer may have some room to ask you about your religion if you make a reasonable accommodation request.

Employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace for their religious beliefs and practices unless they create an undue hardship to the employer. Your employer is required to make changes to your work duties or workspace if you make a “reasonable” request. In such cases, your employer is allowed to ask you questions to ensure that you are sincere about your request and that you are not doing it to get out of work duties or requirements.

Fighting Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

If you didn’t make a reasonable accommodation request, your employer generally doesn’t have legal grounds to ask you about your religious beliefs. If you believe that your employer’s questions are tied to discriminatory behavior, you have the right to file a claim against your employer.

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on religion. Religion is considered a protected employment class in California. Your employer cannot refuse to hire you, select against you for a training program, fire you, or discriminate against you in any other way based on your religion.

You have state and federal laws that protect you against discrimination in the workplace. Contact us today at (213) 292-5444 to schedule a confidential consultation!

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