Appearance And Dress Policies In California: How To Accommodate Employees Under The WRFA And Prevent Religious Discrimination
|Date / Time:
California’s Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) governs accommodations for religious beliefs in the workplace, including religious dress and grooming practices. Because it interprets “religious dress” broadly, it can be easy for even well-intentioned employers to accidentally step over the line.
While Title VII stipulates that employers don’t have to provide an accommodation if doing so would cause an undue burden, the WRFA adds additional protections for Golden State employees: Only significant difficulty or expense will let employers off the accommodation hook—and it’s a high hurdle to meet.
Join us when attorneys Mary L. Topliff and M. Yusuf M. Mohamed will discuss the more stringent California laws regarding reasonable accommodations for religious dress and grooming, and offer tips on how to avoid legal repercussions based on discrimination or harassment of employees based on their religious dress or grooming.
About Your Presenters
- How the WRFA differs from federal law regarding dress and appearance in the workplace
- Different types of religious dress and grooming, hair growth, head coverings, jewelry, etc.
- Practical insights into how to handle issues concerning religious dress and grooming
- The meaning of “sincerely held” religious belief—and what to do if you suspect an employee claiming a religion-based accommodation lacks this
- What employers must know regarding accommodations in California
- Whether secular employees must be allowed the same accommodations to your dress code that you allow for religious employees
- How employers should respond to employees who are seeking accommodation for a new religious belief
- What constitutes an “undue burden” under federal law—and the heightened standard that applies to California employers under the WRFA
- Your legal obligations when an employee’s requested accommodation poses a potential safety hazard
Mary L. Topliff, Esq.
Law Offices of Mary L. Topliff
Mary L. Topliff has specialized in employment law counseling, training, and compliance for over 20 years. Ms. Topliff regularly advises business owners and human resources professionals on all aspects of workplace issues with the goal of preventing costly disputes. She regularly conducts workplace investigations and provides mediation and post-investigation consulting services. Ms. Topliff also negotiates employment and separation agreements for executives. Ms. Topliff is a frequent speaker and author on practical applications of workplace legal issues. She publishes the Workplace Wave, with articles on recent legal and legislative developments, and serves on the Editorial Review Board for the State Bar of California’s Labor and Employment Law Review.
M. Yusuf M. Mohamed, Esq.
Associate General Counsel
Tesla Motors, Inc.
M. Yusuf M. Mohamed has 19 years of comprehensive experience in labor and employment law, commercial transactions, litigation, compliance, risk management, and alternative dispute resolution. In 2011, he successfully concluded pro-bono litigation in a case brought by an employee of a federal agency that involved claims of religious discrimination. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. He is also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Employment & Labor Law Committee and is Tesla’s lead employment lawyer for its worldwide operations,
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|Licenses / Designations / Educational Credits:||PHR / SPHR Re-Certification Credits|
All US States: 1.5
PHR / SPHR Re-Certification Credits
All US States: 1.5
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|Keywords For This Course:|
California, dress policies, WRFA
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