Some employees, employers and business owners have strong religious beliefs and fundamental conservatism. Such groups of persons try to make their religious observances and beliefs to limit their daily activities including their work place performance. This makes employers and business owners to wonder the extent to which employers are legally permitted to take part in or how the legal institution and policies addresses work place religious conservatism or observance. This is inconsistent with the Free Exercise Clause that protects employers on matters relating to workplace professionalism. By the way of the court, workplace religious freedom and practices are restricted (Greenawalt, 2006). However, the constitution has been very liberal about workplace freedom, hence giving more freedom for both the employer and the employee to engage in religious observance or office decor iconography at workplace. However, workplace religious right must be restricted in order to pave way for professional and other workplace considerations. Under Article VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers be able to accommodate their employees with their religious beliefs unless he/she proves otherwise that accommodating such religious observance might have due hardship to the business conduct of the employer (Greenawalt, 2006). This implies that employers are obliged to honor such wishes, unless undue hardship to the business can be approved beyond reasonable doubt.
For instance, in the case of Southwestern Sav. & Loan v. Young Ass'n, 509 F.2d 140, 145 (5th Cir. 1975), (a loans and savings group that held regular religious studies during their employee meetings), the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the employer violated Title VII of the Employment Act by not allowing the employee (Young), a religious atheist to absent himself from such Biblical meetings (Miller & Cross, 2013). It was held that the employer lacked sufficient evidence of undue hardship for allowing the employee not to attend the religious gathering. Often, the accommodation is relatively minor, thus causing no real hardship, including allowing the employee to put on crucifix at workplace, or allowing some flex time for the employee to attend the Sabbath. Therefore, employers cannot by any means creative any hostile working environment for an employee because of his/her faith or religion (Cross, 2012). The principle of equality applies to all workers as the Constitution and the Employment Act protects the employees’ from religious discrimination by the employers.
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