Managing Religious Diversity in the Term Paper

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(Krukowski, 2001) Civil religion and workplace mysticism each change the institutional locus of religious expression from the church, synagogue, or mosque to another public organization- the state or the company. The existence of these different organizations hoists the main question of individuality and perhaps challenging faithfulness.

Both civil religion and workplace theology do not show the likely clashes and problems often met by employees who are also religious practitioners. Jews, Christians, or Muslims who are workforce of a company may well have grounds to question the customs of their company on religio-moral basis. Workplace theology in a funded organization does not distinguish these possible clashes. Institutionally conveying workplace theology is obviously not identical with permitting individual employees to convey their beliefs and customs at work. This grave outlook of workplace theology should not be realized, as a censure of persons who want to live out their definite religious or spiritual worldview at work. In contrast, it places the foundation for the formation of a flat playing ground for religious and spiritual expression among workers of all backdrops. (Harris, 2004)

The control of religious expression in the workplace almost attracts legal action. A staff that is banned from engaging in religious expression in the workplace or restricted in doing so may bring suit for religious favoritism or for violation of First Amendment rights. Conversely, if an employer generously allows religious expression, an employer may open itself to a religious harassment court case or a case on the basis of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, where the employer is a public employer. (My God's better than Your God: Religious Harassment in the Workplace)

Mainly when the behavior and solution for the problems become knotted with an employee's religious beliefs, demands of workplace harassment always presents annoying problems for employer. Let us look at an example that shows the disputes in avoiding and tackling these demands. In Buonanno v. at&T, a Christian employee declined to sign a document consenting to tolerate his employer's variety philosophy, which cost company employees with the liability to "fully distinguish value and assess the differences among all of us." (Deveney, 2004) He affirmed in writing and in meetings with human resources personnel that he would not differentiate against or annoy any other staff, but also that it "was erroneous for any organization to try to convince him to fully revere and fully assess any differences opposing to God's word." (Deveney, 2004) After his expulsion the staff declared that his employer was unsuccessful in obliging to his religious beliefs. While admitting that the company philosophy replicated a lawful business objective and identifying that allowing employee edits to the philosophy would make its regular application more tricky, the court found that the company had not discovered or clarified the proposed sense of the language of the philosophy to Buonanno, requested as to his matters concerning it, assured him that he would not be asked to give up his religious beliefs, or required to plan a way to hold those beliefs. Almost $150,000 was given to him as compensation. (Deveney, 2004)

Recently the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a supervisor's proselytizing produced an antagonistic work atmosphere. Ives, a born-again Christian thought that his resolution as a police chief must be led by his faith, in Venters v. City of Delphi, 123 F.3d 956-7th Cir. 1997. During work, he made religious remarks and regularly asked Venters, a sender if she had gone to the Church and conversed about her salvation. Ives told Venters that she had an option to pursue God's way or Satan's way, and that she would not carry on working for him if she selects the latter. Ives also handed over religious materials to Venters while mentioning her as an at-will employee. Venters did not like these comments, but she was scared to ask Ives to stop. She was dismissed when she asked him. The court held that Venters had a freedom to work without Ives inquiry. (Religion in the Workplace)

Moreover, the Court found that Venters possibly could have appealed for an accommodation i.e. Ives impede his work-time for conversion. In other case, the employee Wilson, by religion a Roman Catholic made recourse to wearing of an anti-abortion button to work. The button engraved a print of a fetus. Most of the employees responded adversely. It hampered work- employees congregated to discuss on the button; and some cautioned to walk off their jobs. The employer attempted to compromise Wilson, leaving him three alternatives. She was allowed to wear the button only in her cubicle; wrap the button while at work; or to wear a button having no photograph. The Wilson dictated not to wrap or remove the button since she had promised to be a 'living witness'. She was vehemently opposed when she continued to use that button. Taking into consideration the accommodation opposed and complied with her religious vow and reduction of office turmoil, the Court sustained that irrespective of the fact of the vow of Wilson to be a 'living witness', the employer could not rationally accommodate that request. (Religion in the Workplace) the concern of religion in the workplace is thus not observed to be an easy one for management of the employers and is becoming progressively significant for employees and CEOS, managers, alike and should be dealt with the considerable warning.

How managers/employers are dealing with religious differences/harassment in the workplace:

While the business progresses into the 21st Century and struggle more intensively for existence in respect of the highly skilled labor, religion is observed to be progressively a silent concern for both employment and continuance. It will be becoming more and more strenuous to hire someone those are both highly skilled and who does not have a strong desire to experience religious beliefs in the workplace. Employment and continuance, therefore is based on the intensity with which the companies can appeal to the religious along with the work necessities of its potential workforce. (Religious Diversity in the workplace) prescribed strategy for addressing such deliberations of religion in the workplace would be for the employer to relate the standards similar to those prescribed in the sexual harassment cases. Employers find out: the incidence of the conduct; the strictness of the conduct; whether the conduct was aggressive or humiliating; and whether the conduct interfered with work performance. Employers respond with fear in such fields. A legal, unbiased policy barring the employees from deliberations on non-work-related issues that other employees find offensive presents the problem of finding out just what is offensive. Employers evidently have the right to confine conduct that impedes with work, but banning any discussion of religion in the workplace while allowing discussion of other non-work-related concerns would almost definitely contravene Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Krukowski, 2001)

The employees in search of the observance of religious dogmas and practices are liable to do their part to assist resolving of conflicts between job duties and religious necessities. To attain such objectives an employee addressing such religious differences in the workplace communicates his/her employer about the religious commitment at the moment the job is accepted or instantly becoming observant if he/she becomes more observant while employed. (Religious Accommodation in the Workplace) in order to surpass the appearance to some applicants and employees that employees of a specific religion are privileged in the organization, the employers particularly stress upon their written applicant and employee materials that the company does not bias in hiring, promotion, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment taking into consideration the religion. It also makes it clear that any psychological or personality tests applied in recruiting and hiring have been assessed against the EEOC's selection guidelines for non-discriminatory effect. The rare exception may be an employer that has a religious goal for his commercial accomplishment, in that some may be eligible for the 'bona fide occupational qualification' status for religious necessities.

The employers are visualizing to it that each and every employer have a written policy barring religious harassment. The policy is intimated to the employees regularly. The policy constitutes a portion of a general anti-discrimination policy, but particularly indicates to religious discrimination/harassment. (My God's better than Your God: Religious Harassment in the Workplace) the company policies are to be meticulously verbalized so as to keep away from making the religious dogmas a tacit necessity for being the part of the company. The General principles in a mission statement or other policy documents are agreeable, irrespective of involvement of religious concepts or teachings, when it is meticulously worded. Most of the concepts administering behavior and ethical practices are frankly derived from religious teachings, irrespective of ones awareness of the linkage. However, a statement that indicates the personal religious belief that is essential to perform each job in the company, like 'we will seek to know and do God's will in all we do' is not agreeable. When the leader of company desires to have a personal statement…[continue]

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