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Talking Points for AB 1964

Talking Points on AB 1964:

Why do we need a Workplace Religious Freedom Act?

  • Every business day, Californians lose their job for no other “crime” than their faith.
  • The promise of equal employment opportunity has eluded thousands on account of their religious observances or appearance.
  • People of all faiths want to attend regular weekly services, and participate in a faith community. Employers can readily accommodate such scheduling needs.
  • People of many faiths express their faith in some manner through their appearance, with beards, headcoverings and the like. This should not disqualify them from employment, or require them to be segregated from the public.
  • Legitimate uniform and grooming requirements need not be so restrictive as to exclude entire religious groups from entire industries.
  • Employers are confused about their legal obligations, and too often, do very little to provide religious accommodation.
  • The legal standard requiring employers to demonstrate a legitimate undue hardship to justify denial of religious accommodation is a sensible balance of rights and interests between the employer and the worker. The standard has been “significant difficulty or expense,” but employers don’t realize it. AB 1964 will make this clear and explicit.
  • Employers can provide religious accommodations far more often and easily than they even realize.
  • The problem for Seventh-day Adventists being unable to obtain Sabbath accommodation has reached epidemic proportions. AB 1964 is expected to alleviate many of these problems.