Religion in the workplace has been prevalent for a long time. Many people have a wide spread belief of what religion means to them personally, causing this to be an extremely interesting topic of discussion. Because of so many different religious beliefs in our diverse culture we will analyze several different perspectives of religion along with why or why not it is appropriate for the workplace.
The Religious rights in the workplace state “The term "religion" includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate an employee's or prospective employee's religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.(8)
Under Title VII, an employer is required to accommodate an employee's sincerely held religious belief unless the employer can prove that the accommodation would result in an undue hardship to the employer's business.” (Staver, 2000) With the rights clearly stating that an employer must seek to accommodate and religious belief we can look at several different perspectives and theories of the subject. From a Deontology perspective religious beliefs are black and white and have clear moral direction when making decisions. This could affect the workplace if an individual is passionate about what they believe and feel strong about a specific subject. They will likely have no problem stating their beliefs and standing firm. This could be an abrasive moment between two employees resulting in HR action. Each person has their personal view on religion and from a deontology view they only see it from one perspective. From a utilitarianism point of view religious beliefs in the workplace are carried out and viewed as he or she sees fit. This perspective has the potential to cause two people who come from different religious backgrounds to clash badly. This individual may take their perspective as he or she sees fit and applies it to their life and deem it absolute truth verses another individual may believe completely differently. “According to utilitarian individualism, the center of life is the autonomous individual who can choose his or her roles and commitments, not on the basis of higher truths but according to the criterion of life effectiveness as he or she judges it.” (Acikel ,2000) Emotivism mixed in with one of these perspectives can enhance the likely hood of a disagreement between employees. Emotivism is based highly off of emotional response to a belief. “Emotivism is a non-cognitive theory of ethics because it denies, among other things, that moral claims can appeal to "facts." Rather, emotivism, as the name indicates, simply says that moral claims express an emotional response, or an attitude, we may have toward a given kind of behavior.” (Mosser, 2013) With the fact that mankind are so different from one another and we possess so many different personality types that make us unique individuals, we must realize that not everyone is going to have the same view as we do. Emotivism can be an extremely powerful perspective that weighs a heavy load of influential perspective towards someone. If you are one that doesn’t need the facts and can be persuaded based off of someone’s passion towards a belief you are more likely to convert to what others believe. In the workplace, this could cause a very upsetting situation. Let’s look at two people that are in a debate regarding their religious beliefs while at work. One is emotivism with a deontology perspective and the other is emotivism with a utilitarian perspective. Both highly passionate and convincing due to the outwardly expression and high emotion towards the topic while the deontologist is seeing it as