CA Workplace Religious Freedom Act passes Assembly vote

Supporters of AB1964 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. (photo: | Sikh Coalition)

Supporters of AB1964 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. (photo: | Sikh Coalition)

This afternoon, California’s proposed Workplace Religious Freedom Act (AB 1964 – mentioned previously here), introduced by Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, passed through the State Assembly:

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The state Assembly has approved a bill that would add more protections for religious freedom in the workplace, specifying that discrimination laws also apply to religious clothing and hairstyles.

Lawmakers on Tuesday approved AB1964 by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada. The Davis Democrat says she was upset to learn that Sikh and Muslim workers continue to face discrimination at work despite laws prohibiting it.

Yamada’s bill also would allow employees to carry religious objects and clarify that segregating an employee from other workers or the public because of their appearance is not an acceptable accommodation under the law.

She says some Sikh and Muslim workers have been “relegated to the back of the store” to keep their jobs. The bill passed on a 59-3 vote and moves to the Senate.

The proposed bill is now heading to the Senate, where it must pass through several Senate committees and Senate floor vote before it will reach the Governor’s desk.

Passing the Assembly vote is a great achievement but much remains on the path to seeing this bill supporting employment equality in California to become law. If you are a California resident, you can contact your State Senator to request that s/he supports AB1964.


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