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by Elizabeth Cipolla | April 23, 2018

Many organizations would prefer to leave religion at home. However, it would be much wiser for them to recognize that for many employees, it’s a way of life. As we age, we become more devote. Immigrants no longer come just from Europe. And globalization requires diverse talent to penetrate diverse markets.

Religion should be a core part of diversity initiatives. Yet, most companies recognize only Christian holidays. A majority of religious minorities report some form of religious bias. And many suffer in silence. Our First Amendment mandates freedom of religion (not from religion). It does not mean religion is banned from our public square. And corporate America can allow for the religious needs of their employees. In fact, unless there is undue hardship, employers must provide reasonable accommodations under the Civil Rights Act.

Examples of reasonable accommodation include:

  • Time off for religious observance
  • Right to wear religious garb
  • Right to opt out of holiday celebrations
  • Right to display scriptural verses in their workspace

Beyond legal requirements, addressing religious diversity is a best practice that produces improved morale, greater retention, and higher productivity among the workforce.

To obtain assistance in writing a policy for your company, contact us at (814) 454-4322.

*This information was distilled from materials provided by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding

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