Accommodating Religion in the Workplace Essay

Accommodating Religion in the Workplace Essay

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The circumstances, images and fallout related to September 11, 2001 have caused many Americans to revisit their spiritual beliefs in attempt to process the horrific events of such an unimaginable day (Smith, 2003). In the years since the Fall of 2001, employees have developed an increasing desire to integrate their personal spirituality and religious beliefs with their professional lives (Cunningham, 2010). Managers are now faced with the difficult task of accommodating the varying spiritual beliefs of their workforce while tactfully mitigating religion-based issues in accordance with Title VII.

Food Consumption
When Maya failed to consume the majority of her dish after announcing her hunger at a recent business luncheon with colleagues, many were confused about her behavior after she went on to order desert. Maya’s choice not to eat the chicken and mashed potatoes accompanying her lunch could have been the result of a number of factors including: Maya’s choice to live a vegan lifestyle, specific food avoidances which include chicken and potatoes, serious allergies to ingredients used in the preparation of both items or religious beliefs related to the consumption or preparation of the food. Because Maya’s behavior was not connected to her personal work performance or her coworkers’ perception of her performance, management could choose to disregard the concerns of the other employees unless Maya elicits a conversation regarding her decision not to eat the food items. If Maya does feel that she owes her coworkers an explanation, a brief meeting with each would enable her to relay the circumstances behind her behavior. If her decision not to eat the food items was religion-based, Maya will likely need to be prepared to face qu...

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...t deal to religious observers who wish to be free from discrimination"(Ruan, 2008, p. 3). Management’s ability to interject during times of disagreement and misunderstanding may help diminish the chances of belief-based discrimination within an organization. At minimum, organizations should strive to comply with Title VII in an effort to reduce the opportunity for future litigation related to the religious views in the workforce.

Works Cited

Cunningham, G. (2010). The influence of religious personal identity on the relationships among religious dissimilarity, value dissimilarity, and job satisfaction. Social Justice Research, 23(1), 60-76.

Ruan, N. (2008). Accommodating respectful religious expression in the workplace. Marquette
Law Review, 92(1), 1-32.

Smith, J. (2003). Marketing that's good for the soul. Marketing Management, 12(1), 52.

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