Religion in the workplace

Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Religion in the workplace
Wed, 04-09-2014 - 4:08pm

"Employees seeking to observe their religious beliefs and practices have a responsibility to do their part to help resolve conflicts between job duties and religious needs. To this end, an employee must tell his or her employer about the religious commitment at the time the job is accepted or immediately upon becoming observant or aware of the need for an accommodation. Employees must also be clear when explaining why they need an accommodation. Vague objections such as saying that he or she cannot work on a particular day because of cultural tradition will not suffice; the employee must clearly state that he or she is required not to work because of religious beliefs."--Religious Accommodation in the Workplace: Your Rights and Obligations, Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Do you practice your religion while you're at work? Do you act any differently during certain days or certain times because of your religious beliefs and practices? Do you have coworkers that do? If so, has anyone else at your workplace ever had a reaction?

While I don't eat meat on Fridays in Lent, it's never really affected my behavior much at work, save for the times I've mentioned not wanting a burger or something like that for lunch I suppose.

I hope you all are having a good week!


Clinical Research Associate


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Thu, 04-10-2014 - 12:48pm

Because of the nature of my work (restaurant), I have worked with coworkers from many different religious backgrounds. Some of the only real issues I've seen have been with the Mennonites. While I applaud management's willingness to hire and work with people like them, it really wasn't fair to the rest of us. Mennonites couldn't (or actually I should say wouldn't) work on Wednesdays or Sundays. While I understand they had the right to practice their religious beliefs, it was at the expense of the rest of us. Sundays were always some of our busiest days and everyone else was required to work Sundays but them. I never will understand why those people couldn't work on Sundays (they claim it was to be a day of rest) but they thought nothing of having other people work on Sundays (they went out to eat, shopping and to the movies).

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Thu, 04-10-2014 - 5:47pm

I am an atheist so most of the time do not pay much attention to what's going on.  My emplopyer was OK when I took the oath of office to leave out "so help me god".

It is also not my style to comment on what people eat (or don't eat).  These days with dietary preferences, real or imagined allergies/sensitivites, I am just glad to find a restaurant where there is something for everyone!  ;-)

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 06-04-2014 - 4:57pm


Do your Mennonite coworkers work weekday evenings and extra shifts so you have some time off during the week? Perhaps this is how the boss makes up for the Sundays off? 

Another example is parents getting an earlier (or later) shift to accomodate children's schedules. I don't have children, and have worked a lot of late afternoons and evenings because my coworker had to pick up a child from school or daycare and/or attend a school event or meeting. I never resented their parental responsibilities because I worked a shift they might have taken. 

Our communities are increasingly diverse for many reasons. Rarely is a place exculsively one race, one faith, or one culture. We all have to learn to adapt and be flexible when it comes to a lot of things. Your other choice is to find a different employer or a different profession, one that allows you Sundays off or a rotating weekend schedule.

Good luck.