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Chapter 11 Religious Discrimination McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11 Religious Discrimination McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 11 Religious Discrimination McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 11-2 Learning Objectives  Discuss the background of religious discrimination and give some contemporary issues  Give Title VII’s definition of religion for discrimination purposes  Explain religious conflicts under Title VII and give examples  Define religious accommodation and guidelines to its usage

3 11-3 Learning Objectives  Define undue hardship as it allows an employer defense to religious discrimination claims  Describe religious harassment and give examples  Identify the ways in which unions and religious conflicts occur  List some ways in which management can avoid religious discrimination conflicts

4 11-4 This is Not Your Forefather’s Religious Discrimination  Henry VIII’s break from the Catholic Church and it’s aftermath  The U.S. Constitution  Freedom of religion  Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment based on religion

5 11-5 This is Not Your Forefather’s Religious Discrimination  Small number of EEOC claims  On the rise since 1993  Spike after September 11, 2001  Increase in litigation in the 1980s and early 1990s  Fundamentalist Christianity and televangelism  Sharing their faith

6 11-6 This is Not Your Forefather’s Religious Discrimination  Current issues have extended to those surrounding Middle Eastern religions  Practices and dictates conflicting with work environment  Title VII is the only legislation specifically prohibiting religious discrimination in employment

7 11-7 This is Not Your Forefather’s Religious Discrimination  Federal and constitutional guarantees for federal, state, and local government employees  Due process  Equal protection  Freedom of religion

8 11-8 This is Not Your Forefather’s Religious Discrimination  Duty to reasonably accommodate: The employer’s Title VII duty to try to find a way to avoid conflict between workplace policies and an employee’s religious practices or beliefs  Undue hardship: Burden imposed on employer, by accommodating employee’s religious conflict, that would be too onerous for employer to bear

9 11-9 This is Not Your Forefather’s Religious Discrimination  Religion is recognized as a basis for BFOQ  Specific facts play an important role in making the determination  Current basis for lawsuits – Conflict of religious practice and workplace policies

10 11-10 Major Religions of the World—Ranked by Number of Adherents

11 11-11 Major Religions in the U.S. Top Organized Religions Christianity76.5% Judaism1.3 Islam0.5 Buddhism0.5 Hinduism0.4 Unitarian Universalist0.3 Wiccan/Pagan/Druid0.1

12 11-12 What is Religion?  Accommodation considerations when the religion is unknown  Is the belief closely held?  Does it take the place of religion in the employee’s life?  Atheism also considered a religion under Title VII

13 11-13 What is Religion?  Employer duty to accommodate  Attaches to the conflict itself, not to when the conflict arises  Applies to religious practices, not religious belief

14 11-14 Religious Conflicts  An employee engaging in some religious practice that is not perceived to be compatible with the workplace  Sometimes the conflict is with the employer’s religion

15 11-15 Religious Conflicts  Requirements for a prima facie case  Employee has a sincere religious belief that conflicts with an employment requirement  Employee informed the employer of the conflict  Employee was discharged or disciplined for failing to comply with the conflicting employment requirement  Once prima facie case is established the burden shifts to the employer to prove reasonable accommodation was offered

16 11-16 Religious Conflicts  Employer considerations  Make sure the basis for conflict is a religious one  Attempt a good-faith accommodation of the religious conflict  The right to be free of religious discrimination is not absolute

17 11-17  The duty to accommodate depends on the circumstances  Employer relieved of liability if  Employee was reasonably accommodated  An attempt was made to reasonably accommodate the employee Employer’s Duty to Reasonably Accommodate

18 11-18  Under Title VII the employer is not required to resolve conflict in the way the employee wants  Accommodation need not be the most reasonable Employer’s Duty to Cooperate in Accommodation

19 11-19  Factors determining reasonable accommodation  Whether the employer made an attempt at accommodation  The size of the employer’s workforce  The type of job in which the conflict is present  The employer’s checking with other employees to see if anyone was willing to assist in the accommodation  The cost of accommodation  The administrative aspects of accommodation Employer’s Duty to Cooperate in Accommodation

20 11-20  Factors determining undue hardship:  The nature of the employer’s workplace  The type of job needing accommodation  The cost of the accommodation  The willingness of other employees to assist in the accommodation What Constitutes Undue Hardship?

21 11-21  Factors determining undue hardship (contd..)  The possibility of transfer of the employee and its effects  What is done by similarly situated employees  The number of employees available for accommodation  The burden of accommodation on the union (if any) What Constitutes Undue Hardship?

22 11-22  Courts find undue hardship if an employer has to  violate the seniority provision of a valid collective bargaining agreement  pay out more than a “de minimis” cost to replace a worker who has religious conflicts  force other employees to trade places with the employee who has a religious conflict What Constitutes Undue Hardship?

23 11-23  Title VII  Permits religion to be a bona fide occupational qualification  specifically permits educational institutions to employ those of a particular religion if they are owned in whole or in substantial part by a particular religion Religion as a BFOQ

24 11-24  Prohibited under Title VII  Religious Freedom Restoration Act  religious practices must be accommodated unless a compelling governmental interest can be demonstrated and advanced in the least restrictive manner  U.S. Supreme Court overturned RFRA in 1997 Religious Harassment

25 11-25  Under the guidelines set forth by President Clinton, federal employees  Should be permitted to engage in private religious expression in personal work areas  Should be permitted to engage in religious expression with fellow employees  Are permitted to engage in religious expression directed at fellow employees Religious Harassment

26 11-26  To avoid liability employers should  Protect employees from those religious employees who attempt to proselytize others who do not wish to be approached about religious matters  Protect employees with permissible religious practices who are given a hard time by those who believe differently  Make sure that employees are given comparable opportunities to use workplace time and resources for religious practices Religious Harassment

27 11-27  Unions are also under a duty to reasonably accommodate religious conflicts  Frequent conflicts  Union membership  Payment of union dues  Picketing and striking Union Activity and Religious Discrimination

28 11-28  It violates Title VII for an employer to discharge an employee for refusal to join the union because of his or her religious beliefs  The Establishment Clause Union Activity and Religious Discrimination

29 11-29  Take all employee notices of religious conflicts seriously  After an employee puts the employer on notice of a religious conflict, immediately try to find ways to avoid the conflict  Ask the employee with the conflict for suggestions on avoiding the conflict  Ask, but don’t require, other employees to assist Management Tips

30 11-30  Keep workplace religious comments and criticisms to a minimum  Make sure all employees understand that they are not to discriminate against employees on the basis of religion  Do not challenge that employee’s religious beliefs during a conflict  Make sure undue hardship actually exists if it is claimed Management Tips


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