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Questions about religion in an interview violate employment law

Workplace discrimination based on religion is not permitted in California or elsewhere in the country. Freedom to worship as one wishes is one of our most sacred freedoms and one that many of the original settlers risked their lives for. In a recent case in Menlo Park, a man believes he was turned down for a job because of his religion and alleges that this constitutes an employment law violation.

A man, who happens to be a Muslim, interviewed for a job with Samsung. In the course of the interview, the interviewer alluded to after-hours functions with the team that involved drinking. The interviewer was concerned that the candidate would not fit into this culture as Muslims do not drink. He further detailed these outings as lasting all night and that silly behavior ensued, which again the candidate would not be a part of due to his abstention from partaking of alcohol.

The interviewer asked if the applicant felt this would be an issue and he responded that it would not bother him. The interviewer also asked the applicant about his country of origin. The applicant did not get the job and believes that he was discriminated against for 'actual and perceived' religious beliefs.

A person in California who is suitably skilled and experienced to perform a job should be given that opportunity regardless of religious affiliation. A person who believes one may have been denied this opportunity should seek the counsel of an attorney experienced in employment law. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and can help the client determine if a civil suit for discrimination is a viable option.

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