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By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Employment Law -- Employee on Friday, December 29, 2017.
‘Help! I Was Wrongfully Terminated Because of the Holidays I Celebrate…’

The holiday season in the U.S. is a wonderful time of year. But for minority groups, it can become a nightmare. In fact, what if you get fired for celebrating other holidays and not sharing your American coworker’s holiday spirit?

That would not only constitute religious discrimination in the workplace, but may also lay the groundwork for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Religious discrimination still persists in the U.S. workplace

The U.S. workplace combines a wide variety of cultural and religious groups. This is especially true for Los Angeles, which is home to dozens of minority groups, who work hard and benefit the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, even in 2018 we still have employers who overlook or ignore employee rights of and outright discriminate against minority religious and ethnicity groups by denying them the right to take time off for a religious holiday.

Furthermore, you may even get fired for not coming to work on the day your religion requires you to stay away from labor and celebrate with your family at home.

Fact: A study has found that 60% of Muslims living in the U.S. report religious discrimination.

Our wrongful termination attorney Los Angeles explain that getting fired for your cultural or religious differences or being discriminated against on the basis of your religious practices and traditions may amount to religious discrimination and wrongful termination legal action.

What religious holidays do occur in December?

Contrary to the popular belief, Christmas (December 25) is not the only religious holiday that people living in the U.S. celebrate. But some employers are – for some reason – convinced that only those who celebrate Christmas have the right to have a day off.

But that’s not what the federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and California state law (The Fair Employment and Housing Act) tell us.

As a matter of fact, many religious and secular holidays occur in December, including Hanukkah, Mawlid al-Nabi, Yule, Kwanzaa, Geeta Jayanti, Dhanu Sankranti, and Bodhi Day.

In order to prevent religious discrimination in the workplace and ensure a discrimination-free environment, employers are required to determine the dates for all religious holidays before the holiday season even begins.

While many Los Angeles employers overlook this option, they should at least allow their employees of minority religious and ethnicity groups to have a flexible schedule during their religious holidays.

What if you get fired for the holidays that you celebrate?

Getting fired on the basis of religious beliefs may constitute wrongful termination in Los Angeles.
Your employer may be held liable for refusing to accommodate your religious beliefs or practices in the workplace, and this includes refusing to allow you to celebrate your religious holidays.

After being denied a day off for religious holidays, many employees from minority religious groups choose to stay home anyway (even though the employer ordered them to go to work).

For this, many employees get fired or are otherwise penalized by their employer. Since this is a clear case of religious discrimination, employees may be entitled to monetary compensation.

While such conduct on the part of employers may entitle workers to pursue a religious discrimination or wrongful termination suit in Los Angeles, it’s not that simple, our wrongful termination attorneys at Law Offices of Kristensen LLP say.

Don’t let your employer get away with religious discrimination

While employers are required to comply with your request to take a day off for religious observance, they may have legally acceptable grounds to deny your request.

If an employer can prove that you taking a day off for religious observance will hurt the company’s interests – by lowering productivity, requiring more budget costs, or threatening other workers’ safety or rights, or other reasons – they may not be held liable for religious discrimination at work.

However, every case is unique and must be reviewed by best wrongful termination lawyers in Los Angeles. Luckily for you, our law firm has litigated hundreds of wrongful termination cases over the years.

We can offer a free initial consultation and consult you about the best legal options in your particular case. Call Law Offices of Kristensen LLP at 310-984-1297 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.