News & Events

August 14, 2006

Religion in the office: Prayer books and law books

Even though we've made meaningful progress on many fronts within the workplace, we still read stories about people being mistreated because of their religion or heritage.

Muslim employees complain of both overt and subtle discrimination, name-calling and hostility based on their appearance. Studies show widespread discrimination against applicants with Middle Eastern names.

Meanwhile, employees from a variety of faiths have been unhappy with the response they get when seeking accommodations.

Muslim employees' requests for times and places to pray during the workday are sometimes met with resistance. Evangelical Christians' attempts to hold prayer sessions at work and encourage co-workers to accept their religion are viewed with alarm. Orthodox Jews and others who cannot work on Friday afternoons and Saturdays are not hired, or they're pressured to change or ignore their religious practices to comply with work demands.

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