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Religious Rights: A guide for Employees Employers and Students

You Have the Right To: Wear religious jewelry
  • Read religious materials on breaks and at lunch
  • Wear Religious clothing, provided that it is an accepted & recognized practice of your faith. (i.e. a Yamaccah during passover, etc.
  • Refuse to work on holy days or religious holidays provided that it is an accepted and recognized practice of your faith.  i.e.  Refuse to work on Saturday if you are Jewish, take the day off for  Candlemas, Beltane, Ostara, etc. In addition if you are an ordained minister of CAW of Universal Life Church you may take the day off to minister to friends and family during the holiday.  Please refer to you Church doctrines.
  • If you are Unemployed and receiving Unemployment Benefits or Welfare payments you can refuse to accept a job which requires you to work on recognized holy day without losing your benefits.
  • If you are a recognized Shaman there are certain instances which allow you to use Peyote for vision Quests.  Provided that:  1)It is an accepted & recognized practice of your tribe.  2) It is on Reservation property.  3)  Your job does not require the use of potentially dangerous equipment of chemicals, or the use of a motor vehicle (i.e. you drive a bus,  you are a Crane operator, you are a courier, etc.).
  • The Right of Religious Assembly: To meet with other of your faith before or after work, or during lunch for prayer, a few moments of silence or to discuss your religious beliefs, provided that your meetings are held in a separate area, i.e. you can't take up the lunchroom, but you can meet outside, or at a restaurant.  If you are a student you can demand that a room be provided for your activities.  Please refer to your school guidelines for extra curricular groups.

You do Not Have the Right To:

  • Prosteletize
  • Play religious music
  • Demand that others participate in religious assembly
  • Attempt to force others into accepting your "Religious values, or morals." Unless the person is engaged in illegal activity as defined by the Penal Code. You have the right to terminate an employee who continually Protelitizes, or harasses others of different Religious beliefs and practices. Provided that: you have given him/her sufficient written notice/warning, which allows him/her to correct the offending behavior, and the employee has refused or continues this behavior after receiving "sufficient notice". You may give verbal notice to an employee provided that you provide him/her with a written notice before the end of your conversation.

Remember that most cases of discrimination cannot be proven because there is no written documentation. Friends and co-workers that you feel will back you up will mysteriously disappear or change their stories for fear of losing their jobs.

Hearsay is not admissable to prove the "truth of the matter asserted" in most state eveidence codes. You must have written documentation in order to protect yourself! If you are making a request for the day off, etc. and you wish to handle the request verbally, always have something typed up and ready to hand to your employer, school administrator, etc.