One of the key points of being an effective human resource manager is to take into account the spiritual beliefs and the religious standpoint of the workers. The human resource department is charged with ensuring that all conflicts, which are related to religion or religion-based views, are eliminated and thus forming a conducive working environment (Alidadi, 2017). Reports have indicated that there is a steep rise in religion-based discrimination issues as from the year 1971 to 70% as of today’s standards. This is a call to the human resource department to improve employee relations more so in the field of religion.
In order to reduce any form of discrimination in the corporation, the human resource management should refer to the Civil Rights Act. Title VII (7) of the act serves to reduce discrimination in the working vicinity due to matters such as religion, race and sex (Alidadi, 2017). It warrants for workers /employees to uphold the rights and spiritual aspirations of every employee extensively. Failure to do so may result in an impending lawsuit in light of circumstances. Civil Rights Act Title VII also dictates that it is the duty of the employer to provide their employees with a solid religious background in the workplace (Kennedy, 2015). It is also their obligation to respect employee’s religious standpoint. Some of the religious privileges which employees have a right to be afforded with include holidays, which mark a special day in the calendar. For instance, Hindus celebrate Diwali while Christians similarly celebrate Christmas. It is the solemn right of the employees to be afforded off days during such days. In a company where the workforce is crucial, a temporary replacement may be enacted, or another employee may be offered two roles with increased pay. The term “Religious Accommodation is used in this scenario which refers to giving employees the rights to practice their respective religions. It is worthwhile to note that while it would be a breach of rights to deny someone their religious privileges, some of the acts may not go hand in hand with the overall pace of the corporation. In essence, a filtering mechanism exists which serves to ensure that the religious practices are not affecting the workflow in any way (Kennedy, 2015). In light of this fact, there are two classes of religion-based activities, which are divided into those, which can be managed/tolerated by the organization, and those which cannot. The following section discusses the above two categories while paying particular attention to the three religions of Hinduism, Orthodox Jewish and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Religious Acts which can be Accommodated
As already explained above, the religions have different days, which commemorate a particular happening as per their calendars. It is important for the workers to be afforded such days. Since these religious holidays primarily involve taking less time away from work, they can be readily accommodated (Alidadi, 2017). The worker, upon returning, may be required to put some more extra hours in order to compensate the ones lost or a temporary replacement may be established with a view to capitalize on the lost hours. In essence, the issuance of time off work in order for one to attend to some religious practices is greatly encouraged and can be accommodated since the lost hours may be housed in one way or another (Alidadi, 2017). In terms of the above three religions, a Christian may leave for Christmas, a Hindu may request for Diwali leave, and an Orthodox Jew may not attend work during the Sabbath day.
Carrying religious artifacts or similar items to work is also greatly encouraged in the event that it does not cause discomfort to other workers. A Christian, for instance, may carry the Bible to work and so forth. Individual ornaments may also be encouraged to work due to the sentimental and spiritual values (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). Activities such as burning scented candles and so forth, which will serve to contravene the working environment and upset other workers, will be greatly discouraged as will be discussed below. Overall, the above-mentioned religious activities (Holidays and being allowed to carry religious artifacts) may be greatly encouraged in the event that it does not disrupt other workers.
Religious Acts, which Will Not Be Accommodated
As already explained above, the carrying of religious artifacts, which will serve to upset other workers, will be strictly prohibited. The use of scented candles, which is common in the Hindu religion, for instance, will be discouraged. Ornaments such as the rosary for the Christian faith will be allowed. Forms of clothing which also do not correspond to the formal dress code will not be allowed. The exceptions will arise only in the Islamic religion where women are expected to wear clothing, which covers a significant portion of their body together with a holy Hijab. Men are however expected to follow the usual corporate dress code. It is important to note, however, that the clothing is dependent on the department of work.
Tattoos on the visible parts of the body will be strictly forbidden whether or not it corresponds to the religion. Such tattoos and other similar markings serve to demean the overall working environment and create a non-conducive image of the workers (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). If tattoos are to be done, they are to be strictly covered up since the corporation will not tolerate such acts. In essence, the acts which will not tarnish the reputation of the organization and will not affect work output will be encouraged (Accommodated) while those which do not will be strictly prohibited.
The affirmative action generally refers to a policy, which was enacted during the year 1960. It was established mainly to end all counts of discrimination, which was present in the United States during that time (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). The discrimination itself was prevalent more so in sectors which include education, employment and so on. The affirmative action was hence devised as a means of ensuring fair opportunity are provided to the minority group of individuals at all costs (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). The affirmative action was most emphasized upon in the employment sector since this was the place where the discrimination was most widespread. In essence, all areas of the society were required to abide by the Affirmative action rule strictly and any establishment found to contravene was dealt with accordingly.
Intention of the Affirmative Action
As already explained above, the affirmative action was established to outlaw all counts of discrimination. Notably, it was founded with the purpose of providing women and other minority groups equal opportunities in light of the region’s resources. The Affirmative action hence was responsible for providing special treatment to the minority groups who were often subject to counts of discrimination (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). This special treatment manifested itself in the form of providing favors in the process of recruitment, promotion, admission to learning institutions and so forth. The favors were such that the chances of an individual from these minority groups getting fired were significantly reduced and so forth. In essence, the Affirmative Action was enacted to give the oppressed and undermined a chance.
Landmark Bakke Vs. Regents
According to the case mentioned above, reverse discrimination was performed in light of medical admission. The U.S supreme courts had reserved about 16% of the seats of admission to the minority groups. The case, which regents brought up, clearly showed that he was denied his civil rights. The case rightly observed that Regent had the federal right to have his application admitted to the college with no discrimination whatsoever.
The act of not being given admission was not that of reverse discrimination, on the contrary, the law states that a person may be selected based on race but a more deserving candidate cannot be ignored in the process (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). In short, despite the laws and the act, a more deserving individual from the majority group cannot be outlawed for a less deserving minority group. The court, in essence, provided a criterion, which may help in delivering sound judgment to future cases, which are of similar standards.
Basis for Judgement
The overall subject, which formed the foundation for the conclusion, was the matter of equality. Despite the Affirmative Action law, one cannot fail to note the fact that it was established purposely for maintaining equality and not endorsing favors (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). In essence, the overall objective of the Affirmative Action was significantly compromised into believing that the minorities were actually being afforded more favors as per the act. In a situation where there is a choice between a minority and a majority, both of them will be considered, however, in no such case will a minority be chosen at the expense of a majority. The overall concept of equality will be undermined if such a criterion is used.
Positives and Negatives
The overall act ensured the equal treatment of both minority and majority groups. Women formed a significant portion of this minority group. Before the act, it was presumed difficult for a minority to secure employment in light of circumstances. It also ensured education was equally distributed to all individuals, which is an essential need (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). The act was also coupled with some downsides, which were the negatives, for instance, it served as the basis of dividing individuals based on their races. The next issue, which served as the negative, were the cases of reverse discrimination such as that mentioned above.
Appropriateness of the Act
The degree of suitability depends on whether or not equality has been achieved in a particular state. In places where various forms of discrimination exist in light of race, sex, religion, plus many others, the law substantially applies (Leiter & Leiter, 2012). A state, which is characterized by equal opportunities, is likely to flourish economic wise hence different countries should strive to ensure equality since it serves to benefit the entire country. In essence, the act is appropriate in areas where there is discrimination based on race or other factors.
Alidadi, K. (2017). Religion, equality, and employment in Europe: the case for reasonable accommodation. Oxford Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing.
Kennedy, R. (2015). For discrimination: race, affirmative action, and the law. New York: Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Leiter, S. & Leiter, W. (2012). Affirmative action in antidiscrimination law and policy: an overview and synthesis. Albany: State University of New York Press.