Your Legal Rights in the Workplace
- Is it legal for employees to talk about Jesus Christ on the job? At what point does it violate the law?
- Is it legal for employers and managers to mention Bible verses when conversing with clients, or to pray for their employees?
- Is it legal for employers and managers to prohibit religious conversation in the workplace or force you to do something that violates your religious commitments?
As our culture has grown more secular, both skepticism and hostility toward religious faith has increased, leading some to conclude that religion is divisive and should have no place in public life, including the workplace. Far from being divisive, however, the case can be made that faith-friendly workplaces generate more trust, ethical behavior, and mutual respect than in environments where employees are told to leave their faith at home. Not only is this less than good business, it is also illegal.
There is no law requiring the workplace to be a religion-free zone. To the contrary, Federal and State laws protect the religious freedoms of both employees and employers.
Employers can run their business in conformance with biblical principles, may pray and speak of their faith with employees, and may hold and participate in voluntary chapel services and prayer meetings for employees.
Employees can have faith discussions with co-workers during free time so long as it is not disruptive or unwanted and can refuse to act in a manner conflicting with their religious beliefs. In fact, the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 stipulates that private workplaces with 15+ employees that allow non-work related conversations may not prohibit voluntary religious discussions between employees. However, an employer may restrict or allow conversations an employee has with the company’s clients, patients or customers.
This information is given as a general description of your legal rights as a Christian in the workplace and is not intended to render legal advice for a specific circumstance. If you face difficulties for sharing your faith in the workplace, contact an attorney or group that specializes in religious discrimination.