The United States of America is considered by many people to be the most democratic country in the world, especially when it comes to religion. However, is it so? The history of the country has seen many cases when employees were oppressed at work because of their religious beliefs.
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There are different points of view on this issue: Some entrepreneurs state that religious ideas should be the leading ones while building up a company, whereas others state that a company should be focused only on business issues and religion is something personal. In the article “Religion Can Work in the Workplace,” the author takes a look at both points of view. Lynne Meredith Schreiber, the author of the article, interviewed several entrepreneurs and asked about their point of view on this issue.
Some of them agree that religious principles should be the leading ones while building up a company. Besides, there are business schools that are financed by religious funds. In recent years, more and more companies invite chaplains to work for them and ask their employees how they are doing and about thoughts and feelings. Specialists state that such a tendency appeared after the 9/11 terrorist attacks; this is one of the ways to make people feel safer in their workplace.
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On the other hand, some of the entrepreneurs may overdo that by asking their employees to sign into one or another religion or praying before lunch or hanging icons on the walls of offices. The point is that none of the entrepreneurs can be sure that all of their employees are Christians; thus, making people of other beliefs follow Christian principles would be mean. At the end of the article, one of the analysts states that the United States of America is a free country with religious freedom; however, he thinks that business in the country should remain pragmatic and stay separate from religion.
The other article that is worth analyzing is called “Religion and the Workplace.” The article is devoted to the issue of the restrictions an entrepreneur may face when deciding that every employee should either be a Christian or stick to some other religious practices. First of all, the entrepreneur will face such an issue as the Sabbath or other holy days when the employees will not work because of their religious beliefs. In this case, it is more reasonable to have employees who belong to different religions. Moreover, if the entrepreneur does not approve such days as the Sabbath or holy days of Christianity, they may be sued.
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In some cases, the entrepreneur was made to quit business because the court had taken away his license. Another problem entrepreneurs may face is that they should provide their employees with all necessary accommodation so that employees are able to follow some religious traditions at work. This is the second type of cases that are heard most in the courts concerning the issue of religion at work. The author of the article states that the issue of religion in the workplace is rather complex; moreover, in most cases, the trial is won by employees, because the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees every citizen the right to be free from every government-imposed religion and the right to practice any religion.
Cleveland Clinic is a healthcare establishment and all its employees provide health care to all those who are in need, regardless of their skin color, religious beliefs, sex, education, and so on. In my opinion, Cleveland Clinic is a faith-friendly organization. On the one hand, the employees of the clinic do not propagandize any religion; on the other hand, everybody knows that in critical situations, a pray might help. That is why, when necessary, the clinic staff may invite a chaplain or any other representative of the faith a patient has so that they feel emotionally better. Most of the employees of the clinic are Christians; however, every person is ready to help an individual of any other confession.
Cleveland Clinic does not have any policy regarding religion; moreover, I do not think that it might be necessary. On the other hand, if such a policy had ever been written, it should have contained only one point: be merciful to every patient regardless of their religious beliefs. As it has been mentioned above, every person should have the opportunity to stick to their religious principles, even in the workplace. In my opinion, this is not necessary in Cleveland Clinic, because every representative of the staff is eager to help all patients regardless of their faith.
This paper was devoted to the issue of religion in the workplace. The paper consisted of three parts: The first two parts contained the analysis of two articles devoted to that issue, while the third part contained the author’s experience. In my opinion, religion should not interfere in the business sphere. The United States of America is a free country and every person is able to choose their religion without following the will or preferences of their boss.