A new law set to take effect the first day of the new year -- the Workplace Religious Freedom Act -- makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of religious attire. The law provides that religious dress and grooming qualify as protected religious observances. One commentator noted that "employees who wear any type of religious clothing … such as turbans, hijabs and yarmulkes, will be protected from discrimination and harassment." Interestingly, the commentator makes no mention of Christian cross or crucifix necklaces or other Christian attire.
In Britain, two Christian women have been waging a legal battle to wear the Christian symbol to work. Nadia Eweida, a British Airways employee, and Shirley Chaplin, a National Health Services nurse, were both ordered by their employers to cover or remove their Christian necklaces. When Ewedia refused, she was placed on an unpaid leave of absence. Chaplin was moved to a clerical position and eventually fired.
The British government has taken the position that the wearing of the cross is not a requirement of the Christian faith and that no discrimination took place. The case, which is now before the European Court of Human Rights in Stasbourg, France, the seat of the European Parliament, will decide whether wearing a cross or a crucifix is a right protected under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Here in California, the new law ostensibly is meant to curb the type of discrimination occurring across the pond. But is it really concerned about Christians?
The old saying is "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." Throughout America's history, immigrants came here seeking a better life than the life they had under oppressive and socialist regimes. They were more than willing to discard the cloaks of the past, and to put on the cloak of an American. They sought to speak English and assimilate into the American culture.
No longer. Today, the mass of humanity illegally pouring into the United States is bringing with it a Babel of languages, customs and cultural habits. One can picture turbans, hijabs, yarmulkes and headscarves proliferating in the workplace as word of the new law begins to spread.
The real goal of the new law in California is to discourage assimilation into an American culture the Left resents, a culture historically dominated by Anglo-Saxons, men, heterosexuals and Christians. This is what the Left calls its "commitment to diversity," promoting "multiculturalism" (many cultures). Excluded from the drive toward "inclusiveness" (a misnomer) are Anglo-Saxons, men, heterosexuals and Christians. The laws, or their equal enforcement, are tilted against maintaining the rights of those bearing these particular characteristics.
I look forward to the day when a Muslim is required to sit next to a Jew, both decked out in their respective religious garb, at work. It would be nice to see the lion lay down with the lamb. But I would also like to see Christians protected under the new law. I'm holding my breath.
If you intend to test the law with your employer by wearing a cross or crucifix to work, please contact The Becker Law Firm. We stand ready to protect your rights.
 Beth Zoller, "New California Laws Address Religious Discrimination, Accommodation and Tolerance," (9/13/2012,