Critical Analysis: Understanding Religion in the Workplace

775 Words2 Pages

Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits intentional discrimination on the basis of religion and requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to accommodate religious practices of employees unless doing so would cause undue hardship to employer. Overall the number of EEOC cases with regard to religious discrimination has nearly doubled from 1997 where the reported cases were 1709 annually to 3721 cases in 2012 (US EEOC, 2012). The rise of cases in the US is primarily due to further diversity in the workplace and the employees embracing expressions of faith. Examples of religious discrimination in the workplace are varied from the basis of one’s dress or clothing, refrain from working Sabbath or religious holidays or antagonism between cultural or religious groups leading to harassment. Management strategies need to be identified and discussed with employees in the same manner as other components of employer’s diversity policy. The following is an example of a request for time off work to observe the Sabbath. In EEOC v. Thompson Contracting, Grading, Paving, and Utilities, Inc., No. 11-1897, the EEOC sued the company for failing to accommodate a request to not work Saturdays made by an employee who alleged he followed the Hebrew Israelite faith (Jones and Erickson, 2013). After Mr. Yisrael refused to work three different Saturdays, Thompson terminated his employment. Mr. Yisrael then filed a complaint with the EEOC. The job as a dump truck driver was infrequently called to work Saturdays but did so due to recent weather conditions. The employer would have had to hire substitute drivers for the time frame in order to cover his shift. In so doing, the employer would be incurring additional costs beyond normal ...

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... for the worst. Management strategies support employee uniqueness and help understand each individual’s contribution to the team while keeping in line with who they are, what they believe and where they come from in a nondiscriminatory fashion.

Works Cited

Cañas, K. A., & Sondak, H. (2014). Opportunities and challenges of workplace diversity: Theory, cases, and exercises (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Jones, T. and Erickson, E. (2013). Recent Developments in Religious Accommodation in the Workplace. Employment & Labor Relations Law, 12(1), 8-13
Levy, T. I. (2000). Religion in the Workplace. Management Review, 89(2), 38.
US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. (2012). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Retrieved from
(2013). HR Specialist: New York Employment Law, 8(3), 2.

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