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Religion in the workplace

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Imagine growing up in a home where religion is the basis for everything you do. For instance, your father is a minister which means that you are in church 5 days a week. As you are embossed in this culture, you begin to take on the traits, beliefs and practices associated with it. You are fully immersed into your religion which now becomes second nature to you. You are taught that God helps people in need and looks out for all those who worship him. As you grow older, you believe more and more that your religious practice is what gets you through. You are now an adult and finally have the opportunity to live on your own. You’ve just been hired by a fortune 500 company and you are ecstatic because, it is your belief that God is the reason you were put in that position. As you report in to your first day of work, you realize that it is all you have ever wanted and you pray to thank God for the opportunity that he has provided you. You feel a tap on the shoulder and there is your supervisor telling you that you cannot pray in the office as it is prohibited by company rules.

Many of your co-workers see this and they approach you at lunch time. They all feel your pain because they too have been told that due to company policy they also could not practice their religion at work. This is a problem. You realize that growing up in a Utilitarian environment urges you to fix this problem for the greater good of all the people working in this office. Religion should be allowed in the workplace to ensure that all people are afforded the opportunity to worship as they choose, within guidelines. Happier employees make for a better, more productive work environment. “A Gallup poll states that 90% of American adults say that religion is either very important or fairly important in their lives”(n.d.). 90 percent is a very big majority, who in some form or fashion would appreciate the opportunity to be able to practice their religious beliefs when necessary.

Employers cannot completely stop religious beliefs. “An employer need only accommodate “sincerely held” religious beliefs and practices. The challenge, however, can be determining to what extent an employee’s religious objection to a particular work requirement is, in fact, “sincerely held.” (Gross N.D). Where the problem lies is if the employer truly believes that the belief is “sincerely held”. If their Employer does not believe this then they can do what is in the best interest of the business. “Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, says current legal protection has been “too narrowly interpreted by the courts, giving employers leeway to refuse religious accommodation” (Digh, 2001). Imagine that 90 percent of your co-workers value religious beliefs.

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to believe that if they were allowed to practice their religion that the work environment would be more productive? A recent study has showed that religious people in the workplace are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and fatigue (reporter 2014). It also showed that religious people are happier than non-religious people in the workplace. What has been deduced from these stats is that 90% of the people you work with are happier and therefore more productive because of religion. If this is the case employers should do all they can to ensure that religious practices are allowed in the workplace.


Site Map. (n.d.). Your Strategic HR Business Partner. Retrieved June 17, 2014, from http://www.trinet.com/resources/industry_articles/religionwrkplace.htmFind a website by URL or keyword… Gross, B. (n.d.). Accommodating Religious Beliefs and Practices in the Workplace. All Business. Retrieved June 17, 2014, from http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/workplace-health-safety-employment/2975804-1.html Digh, P. (n.d.). Religion In The Workplace: Make a Good-Faith Effort to Accommodate – Whitepapers – Resources – ASAE. Religion In The Workplace: Make a Good-Faith Effort to Accommodate – Whitepapers – Resources – ASAE. Retrieved June 17, 2014, from http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/whitepaperdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=12164

Reporter, S. (2014, January 10). Religious People Happier in Workplace: Study. Headlines Global News RSS. Retrieved June 17, 2014, from http://www.hngn.com/articles/21649/20140110/religious-people-happier-atheists-study.htm

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