Sociology Essay Example: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1714 Words
Date:  2021-03-31

Today, as organizations battle to remain relevant in light of the heightened globalization, they face an array of internal challenges. These internal problems pose a threat to the effectiveness and individual productivity of employees which ultimately results in an array of adverse ramifications. Key among the internal challenges in many organization, global and local, is religious discrimination at the workplace. Just like other forms of discrimination, religious discrimination should be controlled. Failure to control discrimination at the place of work is bound to result in adverse effects. Be that as it may, identification and mitigation of religious discrimination in the workplace can prove to be challenging. For instance, the management in many organizations may not be able to distinguish between company activities from the particular religious beliefs of the underlying employees. Furthermore, heightened globalization has reduced the world into a small village. Thus, various people with diverse religious backgrounds and beliefs are free to relocate to all corners of the world. Along these lines, it becomes imperative to explore the concept of religious discrimination in the workplace from a global perspective. Subsequently, religious discrimination in the workplace is manifested through employment decisions based on religious preferences, harassment based on religious preferences, and the failure to accommodate religious practices altogether.

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Employment decisions based on religious preferences is a classic manifestation of religious discrimination at the workplace. This type of discrimination encompasses settling on recruitment decisions based upon an employees faith, beliefs, or lack thereof. Whereas religion and the right to practice is a fundamental right that should be incorporated in all laws homogenously, it should not be factored in during the hiring process. Synonymously, Scott asserts, Religious Freedom is, first and foremost, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, (387). In other words, every individual is protected by the law when it comes to exercising religious beliefs. Therefore, in addition to protecting the individuals right to exercise their religious beliefs, the laws should also protect the same individuals from discrimination or accordance of favors in the hiring processes.

In addition to protecting the employees from religious discrimination during the hiring process, there should be a succinct distinction on the premise of legitimacy. From a global perspective, this form of segregation is unlawful under the demonstration of law. However, the existing legislation seem to be lacking in the various aspect that would ensure equality in the hiring process. There are no succinct laws and regulations that can directly mitigate discrimination in the workplace. For instance, an organization may decide to lay off an employee who misses work to observe a religious occasion or appraise another just on the premise that they go to church routinely. Along these lines, business organizations should be primarily founded on diversity. Johnson argued that Individuals in organizations have various social and religious foundations that can be very different in beliefs, viewpoints, and practices (10). In his argument, the author depicted that employees in the workplace exhibit diverse characteristics which should be incorporated in the core business frameworks in the workplace. The author then went forward to present his school of thought that organizations must endeavor to accommodate employees with different characteristics be they religious or ethnic. In so doing, a serene working environment is created. Also, Borstorff and Arlington argued that the workforce is more different in ethnicity, culture, and religion (61). These authors plausibly argued that the differences manifested in the workplace are mainly ethnic or religious. Further exploration of the authors works mirrors the comprehension that the inflow of workers and migrations across the world have increased the quantity of religious categories in many regions. Thus, different spiritual qualities stand out as an important issue and a dominant topic of discussion.

Harassment based on religious preferences is also a rampant manifestation of religious discrimination. In regards to the factors and effects of religious-based harassment, many cases of religious discrimination in the workplace emanate from the lack of knowledge. Ghuman asserts, four trends that contribute to religious discrimination in the workplace: legal ambiguities, increased religious diversity in the American workforce, increasing expression of religious beliefs, and the unique nature of religion, (439). According to the author, discriminated workers in many organizations suffer not because their colleagues are malicious but due to the absence of comprehension of these representative's religious beliefs and requirements. Many people are only aware of the particular religious beliefs but remain uninformed about different religious practices. Thus, they regularly neglect to accommodate the religious needs of the gatherings in an organization. In addition to the lack of knowledge, another significant cause of religious discrimination in the workplace is the heightened movement of people and immigrants. For instance, with the increased number of Muslims moving to the United States, there is a higher probability of religious segregation from dominant religious gatherings.

In an effort to end harassment that emanates from religious segregation by dominant religious gatherings, there have been several attempts to uphold government laws. These laws and regulations secure individuals against harassment when it includes the accompanying conditions. Be that as it may, these laws and regulations are not easily enforceable given the complex nature of the concept of religious discrimination. Scott asserts, In more recent years, however, and particularly since September 11, 2001, perhaps in response to perceived backlash discriminatory actions against Muslims in America the EEOC has expanded the concept of reasonable accommodation (390). The authors arguments were founded on the constructs of the September 11 attacks. Upon this foundation, the author was then able to mirror how religious discrimination has taken all important focal point in many organizations. Consequently, this viewpoint facilitates the comprehension that the corporate domain is more delicate to religious issues than other boundaries. However, various governments have enacted laws passed legislation that has promoted and qualified individuals for the opportunity of religion.

The enactment of mitigation legislation is a plausible depiction of the prevalent failure to accommodate religious practices altogether. Sequentially, as companies struggle to accommodate various discriminations, there has been suggestions to abolish religion in the workplace altogether. Whereas such a move could create a serene environment and facilitate eradication of religious discrimination, there are various underlying adverse effects. Despite the fact that this suggestion may seem like a useful theoretical solution, its applicability has proven to be a challenge. The main hurdle that this hypothetical abolition of religion in the workplace faces is the nature of religious practice. An argument presented by Reuters asserts that Religion involves conviction and practice. Furthermore, religious beliefs will once in a while influence the obligations of our work"(1). According to this argument, therefore, religion and work responsibilities are intertwined. The author then proceeds to expound on the fact that the individuals who are dedicated will dependably practice and do their custom and conventions, guided by their religious beliefs. Along these lines, government and state law necessitate representatives not to be dealt with unreasonably on the premise of religion. Nonetheless, it is frequently hard to maintain a strategic distance from clashes amongst work and religion, because of the expansion in populace differing qualities. A report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2008) depicted the significant increment in the quantity of religious discrimination charges.

The increment in the number of religious discrimination chargers depicts fatalities that stem from the failure to accommodate religious practices altogether. Failure to accommodate religious practices at the workplace is not satisfactory nor should it be endured. It is imperative to perceive what spiritual isolation is and how to spot it when it occurs in the work environment with the goal that training can be given to the culprit. Religious discrimination can stretch out so far as to treat a gathering of individuals unjustifiably. Those in the United States are legitimately shielded from being bothered in light of their convictions. But this insurance does not stretch out to all nations or all gatherings. Moreover, O Brien and Palmer argued that In both Islam and Hinduism, the thought that religion is separate from life is unfathomable (1). Through their arguments, these authors affirm that religion is inseparable from life and daily activities. Similarly, religion cannot be separated from the workplace. Also, in many regions, Islam depicts itself as a lifestyle as opposed to being a mere act of faith. These arguments illustrate that an employee in the workplace that does not see religious life as isolated and separated from day to day life is doomed to sail well in the work environment. In the halls and work areas of business and government, a progressed modern culture collaborates with what Max Weber hypothesized as feasible just in a bureaucratized setting not fastened by the impediments of religious authority (Gerth and Mills). There authors argument was consistent with the forecast that business managers by and large endeavor to keep up a typical work environment that is free of religious iconography (28). Also, it became evident that the multicultural nature of the society gives an extra motivator to businesses to cut out the workplace as a common domain.


The backdrop above defines discrimination in its simplest form as the wrongful demonstration of separation among individuals along the lines of ethnicity or religious beliefs. It also becomes clear that religious discrimination is mirrored in various forms all which emanate from unfair treatment based on religious beliefs. These forms of religious discriminations are manifested through employment decisions based on religious preferences, harassment based on religious preferences, and the failure to accommodate religious practices altogether. Whereas the discrimination is frequently fueled by the majority gatherings taking advantage of the minority, lack of knowledge is also a contributing. Finally, various organization and governments have tried to put an end to religious discrimination in the workplace, but the underlying complex nature continually poses a threat. Along these lines, therefore, a business ought not to discriminate based upon one's religious conviction. Furthermore, a company ought not to make prejudicial guidelines, business practices, or work choices that spin around one's specific religious belief.

Works Cited

Alexis, Gwendolyn Yvonne. "Not Christian, but Nonetheless Qualified: The Secular Workplace - Whose Hardship?" Journal of Religion and Business Ethics (2012): 1-24. Print.

Borstorff, P. and K. Arlington. "Protecting Religion in the Workplace? What employees think." Journal of Legal, Ethical & Regulatory Issues (2011): 59-70. Document.

Gerth, H. H. and C. Wright Mills. Essays in Sociology. UK: Oxford University Press, 1946. Print.

Ghumman, Sonia, et al. "Religious discrimination in the...

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