Employers are dictated by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to accommodate the
religious beliefs and practices of the employees and applicants in the United States of America.
Title VII is prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, and religion.
Religious discrimination in the workplace includes refusal of the employer to accommodate an
employee's or an applicant's esteemed religious beliefs and practices where the accommodation
could not pose an undue threat to the operation of the business. Title VII has defined "religion"
extensively. Religion includes organized religious groups such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam,
Buddhism and Hinduism along with traditional religious beliefs. Considering articles Griffith
(2019), United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Press release and Larson
(2019), religious beliefs and practices should be accommodated by the employers; otherwise,
they face the Civil Rights Act Law.
In the article "Hotel dishwasher awarded $21 million after boss made her work on
Sundays" by Janelle Griffith illustrates how employers should focus on accommodating religious
practices and beliefs of the employees rather than intimidating them through firing. The article
has exhaustively described the experience of Marie Jean Pierre, a staunch member of the
"Soldiers of Christ Church" which is a Catholic missionary association helping the poor. Pierre
was an employee in Conrad Miami as a dishwasher for more than ten years (Grifith, 2019).
Pierre sued Virginia-based Park Hotels and Resorts which was formerly known as Hilton
Worldwide after she was fired. The reasons for Pierre's firing was purely religious beliefs and
practices that could be accommodated. Because of her religious beliefs, Pierre could not attend
her job on Sundays because that was the service day. However, her employer was forcing and
scheduling her on Sunday despite several warnings from Pierre. In 2009, Pierre threatened to
RELIGIOUS PRACTICES IN WORKPLACES 3
resign to avoid violating her religious norms and beliefs but the employer refused. Ultimately,
she was fired in 2015 for the several absenteeism from work on Sundays. After filing the case,
with the help of the Attorney General, Pierre has been awarded $21 million by the court. As
defined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, religious practices might be personal, such as not
working on Sundays or Saturdays (Grifith, 2019). Therefore, Pierre's employer was liable to face
According to the press release by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), the Commission filed a lawsuit against McDonald's Franchise for
Religious discrimination reasons. This Longwood Restaurant denied an applicant the opportunity
of working for them because of his religious practice of Jewish that allows men to keep their
beards (the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2019). The Orlando, Fla-
Chalfont & Associates Group Inc. the owner of the McDonald's Restaurant located in Central
Florida was found guilty by the Court for violating the federal law of the Civil Rights Acts, Title
VII. The company refused to offer a job to a qualified applicant who refused to shave his beard
for his religious beliefs. The applicant was a practicing Hasidic Jew who is supposed to keep his
beard. However, the applicant promised not to shave the beard; however, he would cover it with
the beard net because of his religious beliefs and practices. Nevertheless, the company denied
him the opportunity. Even though McDonald's grooming policies and regulations demanded the
workers to shave their beards, this doesn't prevent them from following the federal law. Placing
the employee or an applicant at a crossroads dilemma of choosing between earning a living and
religious practices and beliefs is against the Federal Law stipulated in the Civil Rights Act of
1964 (EEOC, 2019). The applicant not shaving his beard was not posing an undue hardship to
the employer; therefore, the employer should be held liable for violating the federal law.
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The article “What Companies Can Do When Work and Religion Conflict” by Kabrina
Krebel Chang is trying to offer solutions to conflicts between religion and workplace
environment rather than going the legal way. It’s clear that the complaints filed concerning
religious discrimination with the EEOC is increasing drastically from 2007. This increment is
related to the increment of the immigrants’ diverse faiths, diversity in workforce and
globalization of businesses. Therefore, employers aren’t lucky to avoid conflicts between
religion and works. The article suggests a long-terms plan to solve this issue. According to
Chang (2016), managers are supposed to design issues keenly by considering long-term effect of
their decisions. Depending on the acts taken by these multinational and local business
organization managers, they can either enhance morale through affirmation of inclusive culture
or insinuate that religion is just tolerated something that can invite litigation. The article has
provided approaches to be adopted by companies to prevent conflicts that occur over religious
accommodations: the company should make equal employees’ treatment without considering
religious mandate. Also, companies should regularly remind their employees of the significance
of the tenets by reviewing and reforming policies for various religious practices. Therefore, this
article has significantly provided information regarding how to solve conflict between companies
and religious accommodation. When companies follow the recommendations provided by Chang
(2016) they shall be at a safer place to avoid religious litigations.
Regardless of everything, religion plays a significant role in workplaces. Considering that
one went to work in a secular workplace (not religious organization) and later learned that daily
they set off with a word of prayer and a Bible Reading, there is a violation of religious law.
People have different practices and beliefs because some are Islam, Hinduism, and Christian.
Reading the Bible is discriminating against other religious organizations and promoting
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Christianity. However, a spirituality which entails all aspects of religious practices including
Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity has a place in the workplace. Spirituality
encourages good morals and good relationships.
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Chang, K. K. (2016). What Companies Can Do When Work and Religion Conflict? Harvard
Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/03/what-companies-can-do-when-
Grifith, J. (2019). Hotel Dishwasher Awarded $21 million after the boss made her work on
Sundays. American News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2019). EEOC Sues McDonald's
Franchise for Religious Discrimination. Retrieved from