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Religion In The Workplace Essay

2553 words - 11 pages

Religious Diversification Today
Religious diversification in the workplace is an issue employers will always face. Management of this diversity is necessary so that employees can reach their full potential, maximize productivity, and create a positive work environment by which everybody is accommodated. By understanding the positives and negatives of having religion and spirituality in the workplace, it is clear that there are advantages and disadvantages. Positive aspects of integrating religion or spirituality into the workplace may include improved worker performance and better relationships between management and employees. There are disadvantages as well, such as discrimination, and ...view middle of the document...

Religious discrimination involves treating a person unfairly because of his or her religious views. Those in management positions must be aware than religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to someone of a different religion. It is illegal to discriminate when it comes to hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, and even benefits. In 1997 the Clinton administration passed the laws for federal employees regarding religious expression. Federal law states, “Federal employees may engage in personal expression to the greatest extent possible, consistent with workplace efficiency…federal employers may not discriminate in employment on the basis of religion… All government agencies must reasonably accommodate employee’s religious practices”(Federal Guidelines, 1997).
Harassment is also an issue not taken lightly and can result in a lawsuit in various ways. Harassment, for example, could include offensive remarks about a person’s religious beliefs or practices. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision such as the victim being fired or demoted. The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a customer (EEOC, 2013). Comments regarding another employee's religion constitute harassment if they impact the work environment and make it difficult for the employee to fulfill his job duties. For example, if other employees are discussing their religious views, this is not harassment even if another employee is offended by it. Preaching one's faith to other employees or trying to convert them can also fall under the umbrella of religious harassment, especially if it interferes with job performance or if employers fail to address employee complaints (Williams, 2013).
Also, an employer or manager cannot grant a promotion or benefits to an employee simply because of their religious beliefs. Stereotyping is something managers must be careful to avoid. For example, if a business owner hired a Jewish person as CFO based on the biased belief that Jews are "good with money," that would be discriminatory and could result in a lawsuit. On the other hand, an employer who favors non-religious employees also violates the law as well. Management of any organization needs to be aware and sensitive to religious diversity within his or her organization.
Advantages of Private Organizations
There is a problem in many organizations today, especially in the global marketplace regarding the religious needs of people. Businesses should not take for granted the religious or spiritual needs of their workers. When this occurs conflicts may arise within the business and could result in low productivity and ultimately the...

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