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Encountering Religion in the WorkplaceThe Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers$
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Raymond F. Gregory

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449543

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449543.001.0001

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Religion and the Law in the Workplace of the Future

Religion and the Law in the Workplace of the Future

(p.241) 20 Religion and the Law in the Workplace of the Future
Encountering Religion in the Workplace

Raymond F. Gregory

Cornell University Press

This chapter reflects on issues arising from the practice of religion in the workplace and how to resolve them. Employers and employees will confront complex issues that typically occur in the struggle to protect the rights of those who wish to exercise their religious beliefs while also securing the rights of those who elect not to participate in workplace religious activities. Title VII and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have been the primary avenues for resolving religious disputes in the workplace. This chapter considers whether Title VII and the EEOC offer the best ways of resolving religious disputes by focusing on the case of Home Depot, which failed to accommodate the Sabbath observance of one of its workers, Bradley Baker. It argues that dealing with religious matters in the workplace requires common sense, good business practices, and a continuing attitude of respect for all parties involved. It also contends that litigation is not the ideal way for an employer or an employee to cope with offensive or hostile work environment problems.

Keywords:   religion in the workplace, religious beliefs, Title VII, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, religious disputes, Home Depot, Bradley Baker, litigation, hostile work environment

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