A framework for accommodating religion and spirituality in the workplace

Washing stations, used before prayer, have at times been supplied by employers.On Fridays the mid-day prayer is communal, so many Muslims need time to visit the local mosque.This critical view of workplace spirituality should not be understood, then, as a criticism of individuals who seek to live out their specific religious or spiritual worldview at work.

Legal redress has been sought for a variety of cases concerning the right to this religious attire: by a Pennsylvania policewoman who was barred from wearing on the job, by an applicant who was denied a uniformed airline job, and by an Arizona woman working for a rental car company.This applies not only to schedule changes or leave for religious observances, but also to religious dress or grooming practices.Accommodations for religious garb may include allowing employees to wear religious head coverings (such as a Jewish yarmulke or a Muslim ), or to wear certain hairstyles or facial hair (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). Supreme Court has ruled that “undue hardship” means that an employer should not incur more than minimal costs in order to accommodate an employee’s religious practices.The presence of these different institutions raises the important question of identity and possibly competing loyalties.Both civil religion and workplace spirituality de-emphasize the possible conflicts and difficulties often faced by employees who are also religious practitioners.

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