Is it illegal for my boss to tell me to stop playing religious recitals at my desk?

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Is it illegal for my boss to tell me to stop playing religious recitals at my desk?

I was told by my supervisor today that I couldnt listen to my Quranic verses at work unless I had earphones. When I asked if this was a religious issue she said, ” Yes”. She further stated that it was not only a person in our program but also others in the office who complained. This person is a Petecostle Christian who has had issues with my religion and myself since day one. She and other employees play gospel on a regular basis. I have 2 written complaints on her but nothing has been done thus far. I don’t know what to do. If one can’t hear music then no one else should be allowed to either – correct?

Asked on October 20, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It seems that you have a complaint that deals with Constitutional rights here in the workplace and that you feel that you are discriminated upon.  You are correct in that if the rule applies to you then it must apply to all and singling you out can be viewed in the first instance as discriminatory.  I would seek out help in your area on a consultation bass as to your options here.  You are going to need proof that you are being singled out because of your religious beliefs and that rules are not being applied across the board for all music being played.  Is there anyone above your supervisor to go to?  A Human Resources Department?  Maybe you need to go a bit higher up in the chain to get results.  Good luck.


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