Did you know that it is illegal to discriminate against someone at work based upon his or her religious beliefs?
Religious discrimination is defined as harmful action “against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other…conditions of employment.” Like other forms of employment discrimination, it is immoral and illegal, and those who are experiencing it can seek damages.
In an abnormal case, Fox News recently reported that a former scientist at California State University Northridge filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the school over claims that he was terminated for his creationist beliefs.
According to the news outlet, Mark Armitage, a scientist and evangelical Christian, claims he was fired from his job as a lab technician after he published an academic paper that appeared to support his religious views.
In 2012, Armitage discovered the largest triceratops horn ever recovered. After examining the fossil, Armitage claims that he found soft tissue inside the horn with bone cells, or osteocytes, which looked alive. This conflicts with most scientific thought, which believes that the triceratops existed approximately 68 million years ago.
Armitage challenged this idea, claiming that the dinosaur is much younger, or else the cells he found would have “decayed into nothingness”, saying that the bones are no more than 4,000 years old—a claim held by many creationists.
According to his lawsuit, Armitage published an article about the soft tissue findings in a science journal in 2013—he was fired a few days later. In his lawsuit, Artmitage claims that his supervisor stormed into his lab prior to his published research, shouting, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department.”
Can I Sue My Former Employer for Religious Discrimination?
As we mentioned earlier, religious discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Forms of discrimination based on religion can include:
- Offensive jokes and slurs
- Scheduling important or job-sensitive meetings during prayer times or religious observances
- Forcing an employee to participate in a religious activity
If you are experiencing harassment at work based on your religious beliefs, schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys today to discuss your case.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys