Religiously Hostile Workplace Environment Policy
Religiously Hostile Workplace Environment
Employees should not have to fear losing a job or being passed over for promotion or being given undesirable work assignments because an employer learns of their lack of supernatural beliefs. Discrimination in employment on the basis of religion is forbidden by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
The law against workplace discrimination should protect employees from being subjected to a hostile environment, or religious harassment, in the form of religiously discriminatory intimidation, or pervasive or severe religious ridicule or insult, whether by supervisors or fellow workers. A hostile environment may also be created by unwelcome and persistent proselytizing or religious criticism. Employees must refrain from such expression when a fellow employee asks that it stop or otherwise demonstrates that it is unwelcome. Because supervisors have the power to hire, fire, or promote, employees may reasonably perceive their supervisors’ religious expression as coercive, they must take appropriate steps to dispel such perceptions.
Employer liability should depend on the extent to which the employer was aware of the harassment and on what actions were taken to address it. Failure to take action after receiving a complaint from an employee should demonstrate employer negligence.