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College Data Increase in Religious Discrimination Cases Litigation cases involving religious discrimination across US organizations have increased in the past 15 years. The increase is mainly due to increased pressure from workers for companies to recognize their religious rights…
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Religious-Discrimination Claims on the Rise
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Download file to see previous pages Managers are torn between respecting strict religious doctrines observed by employees and balancing between codes of dressings as envisaged in the firm’s organizational culture. The continued intermixing of work and faith creates a complex scenario for managers. The situation is worse when employees are expected to perform their duties that contradict with their faiths. For instance, transportation companies are finding it difficult to have Muslim and some Christians drivers transport alcohol and other products that contradict their faith. One of the factors that have been said to lead to employees’ increased advocacy for their rights is increased immigrants in the country. As people sharing a similar faith increase, they gain power and courage to sanction managers to respect their religious rights in organizations. This explains the doubling of religious discrimination cases in the last 15 years, as reported by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, considering that most religious discrimination cases are brought by immigrants, the reported cases are way below other discriminations based on age and sex. The low figures may also be explained from the view that most people are afraid of negative publicity and losing their jobs. Employees in such a case will carry out their duties to maintain their careers. On the same, note most reported cases involve the code of dressing and objection to carrying out duties that contradict with one’s faith of allegiance, compared to a case that involve refusal to observe worship days. This is because organizations do try to observe days of worship for different employees, though the code of dressing affects the company’s looks to its clients, and refusals to carry out allocated duties may imply absconding from duties. For instance, a Muslim faithful expected to transport alcohol from one point to the other is deemed by the company to have absconded from duty if he/she refuses to comply with such orders. This is the reason behind increased cases of religious discrimination reported to the EEOC. Federal court rulings have increased managers’ dilemmas as they have interpreted the law against discrimination in favor of the complainant, requiring companies to pay fines for not respecting people‘s beliefs. For instance, Abercrombie was required to pay a $71000 fine for refusing to hire two women wearing a hijab. To the company, such hijab were against their culture but to the federal courts, the company discriminated against the two women. This has added to the precarious situation that most managers face today. However, though EECO has tried to minimize such cases by talking to companies about the right to observe religious beliefs, companies have found a loophole to win these cases. Abercrombie got a reprieve from the Federal Appeals Court, which observed that the complainants had not indicated in writing that the head scarfs were of religious significance. Therefore, the company had not discriminated against the two. Therefore, the main requirement for such employees to get the right to exercise their religion is to request for accommodation, which the company would consider granting or not based on written submissions. Though the Civil Right Act of 1964 requires that employees accommodate employees from different faiths unless such accommodation may lead to hardships, the act is vague in the description of hardships. Consequently, it is upon the company to advance enough ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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