Good Diversity Management In The Workplace Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Workplace, Employee, Employment, Religion, Employer, Jesus Christ, Belief, Management

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/17

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is a Federal law, employers and unions cannot discriminate their employees or potential employees on the basis of sex, color, national origin or religious beliefs. The act requires an employer who has 15 or more employees to provide "reasonable accommodations" for religious practices of their current or potential employees unless providing them could cause "undue hardship" for the employer's business. Title VII defines religion as a broad spectrum of believes, varying from organized religions to personal beliefs whether they are observed by the majority of their religious group or not. Agnosticism and atheism are included in the beliefs protected by the Act. To be covered by the Act beliefs should be religious and sincerely held, thus, excluding any social, political and economical beliefs.
The issues of "reasonable accommodation" most often concern garments traditional for a specific religion, mandatory prayers and holidays observation. The following are examples of religious beliefs and situations in which there can and cannot be provided reasonable accommodations for religious practices:

Orthodox Judaism

Reasonable accommodations can be provided:
1. An employee informs his employer that he is a Jew and, therefore, observes Shabbat that would require him to leave earlier on Friday. The employer offers the employee to come earlier on Friday or to work longer hours during other days to compensate for his absence Friday afternoon. The accommodation is considered to be reasonable as the employer provided an accommodation that would let the employee to observe Shabbat without any decrease in his salary or benefits.
2. An Orthodox Jew that works the service desk in a bank informs an employer about his religious beliefs and requests to be able to wear kippa and keep his side locks. As the bank requires its employees to wear uniform to be easily distinguished, offers the employee the option to wear a kippa of a color that matches company uniform and agrees that the side locks can be kept.

Reasonable accommodations cannot be provided:

1. An Orthodox Jew is hired as an account manager (salesman) and informs his employer that during the meetings with clients he cannot shake hands and have any other physical contact with his female client or her female representatives. As the client is known to be a strong feminist and shake hands with business partners, the employee requests to be reassigned to an account that is represented by a male. There is only one such an account and it is the company's major client. An account manager in charge of the above-mentioned account has been managing it for 10 years and built a strong business relationship with the account, and, therefore, refuses to switch. The employer explains to the Orthodox Jew employee that it is impossible to satisfy his request and provide a reasonable accommodation.
2. An Orthodox Jew started working at a factory line and refused to shave or hide his side locks. The employer replied that he cannot accommodate his request, as loose hear at the factory line contradicts factory's safety rules and could lead to a dangerous situation on the factory.


Reasonable accommodations can be provided:
1. A newly converted Hindu employee notifies his employer about changes in his religious beliefs and ask to introduce vegetarian meals to the lunch menu. As doing so didn't imply any additional cost or burden, the employer agreed with a catering company about adding vegetarian meals to the menu.
2. A newly married female Hindu employee informed her employer about her religious beliefs and necessity to wear bindi and a red vermillion mark as indication of her marital status. The employer agreed as wearing bindi and vermillion mark didn't interfere with company's safety rules.

Reasonable accommodations cannot be provided:

1. A Hindu employee works as an account manager at a company that shuts down for Christmas. The employee requests his employer to work on Christmas and instead use those accumulated Christmas days to go to a Meditation retreat later during the year instead of using paid vacation days. The employer explains that the company has to shut down due to the fact that its clients shutdown their businesses for the holidays and, therefore it would be economically inefficient to let him work during Christmas holidays as his account representatives wouldn't work.
2. A Hindu employee informs his employer that he is going to practice Navaratri fasting and requests to close down a company kitchen on the floor he is working to cease the temptation to eat for the time of the fasting. The employer replies that he cannot provide a reasonable accommodation as it infringes the rights of other employees, especially of the ones who have low blood sugar which could be harmful for their health.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Reasonable accommodations can be provided:
1. A manager has a long-lived tradition of occasional taking its employees to have lunches at a coffee shop as a form of a small team-building. A new employee approaches his manager and informs him that he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and, therefore, is uncomfortable spending time at coffee shops as he cannot drink coffee due to his religious beliefs. At the same time he would like to build relationship with his new team and asks if team-buildings could take place at a different location, not a coffee shop. The manager understands new employee's concerns and decides to change the place for their lunches as it doesn't bring any additional cost or burden and would let a new employee feel comfortable during team-buildings.
2. An employee who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, decided to switch to practices of a fundamental wing of his church and got a second wife. He didn't talk about changes in his views and relationship status with his manager or colleagues until a news about upcoming company corporate party was announced. The announcement included a "plus one". Therefore, he approached an HR manager with the request to bring both of his wives. The HR agreed to satisfy his request as doing otherwise would be considered a discrimination of his religious beliefs.

Reasonable accommodations cannot be provided:

1. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who works as a delivery truck driver didn't approach his manager to inform about his religious beliefs in advance. During one shift he refused to drive a truck loaded with alcohol as it opposed his beliefs. His manager couldn't accommodate his request as all the other drivers already departed from the warehouse and asking them to return and reload alcohol would imply high costs for the employer.
2. A nurse hired by a small hospital is required to take care of a woman that had an abortion. The nurse is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and refuses to do so as her religion condemns abortions. She requests to be reassigned but her manager in the hospital declines her request and says that due to the small size of the hospital other nurses are not able to switch with her, and the nurse cannot work at the hospital anymore as it would be burdensome because they don't have enough personnel to accommodate her request not to work with abortion patients. The manager suggests her to switch to a bigger hospital that might be able to provide her with a reasonable accommodation.
In conclusion, there might be similar cases in which "reasonable accommodation" can and cannot be provided according to company's safety regulations and abilities to provide the above-mentioned accommodation at minimum cost without infringement of the rights of other employees of the company and harm to the business. Each case should be reviewed separately and the employer is obliged to do everything in his power to provide a reasonable accommodation unless it brings undue hardship that should be proved by the employer. An employee, at the same time, is obliged to inform his manager and provide all the needed information for the issue to be solved.


Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (1964). Retrieved from act-1964-cra-title-vii-equal-employment-opportunities-42-us-code-chapter-21
Compliance Manual Section 12 - Religious Discrimination (915.003). (2008). Retrieved from EEOC website:
Friedman, A. H. (2005). Federal Statutes Prohibiting Discrimination. In Litigating employment discrimination cases (pp. 234-280). Costa Mesa, CA: James Pub.

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