The Importance of Religious Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Laws in the Workplace The Importance of Laws in the Workplace Rights as an employee vary from job to job, however there are basic rights that exist for all employees. All employees have a right to be treated fairly, have a safe environment to work in, be free from discrimination and to be free from harassment. There are laws that have been established to insure that these basic rights are protected. Among these are laws against religious discrimination and sexual harassment.
Not only are they important, they are essential. Laws pertaining to religious discrimination and sexual harassment are important in the workplace because they set a standard to be followed. Religious discrimination is defined as discrimination of an employee based on religious beliefs or practices. Religious discrimination can also be filed against an employer because adequate accommodations are not made by an employer for an employee. ((2008). R. Mathis, Human Resource Management. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western. Sexual harassment is broken down into two categories; quid pro quo is when your employment outcome is linked to the compliance or noncompliance of a sexual demand. The second is hostile environment which is when an employee is subject to unwelcome verbal or physical sexual behavior, including requests for sexual favors and other conduct of a sexual nature that is either so severe or pervasive that it adversely affects her or his ability to do work. ((2008). R. Mathis, Human Resource Management. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western. With all of the focus on sexual orientation and sexual preference today it is very important that employees and employers are educated on what is acceptable and what is not. Sexual harassment is a violation of human rights and it affects employees, employers and the society as a whole. Research has shown that workplaces in which harassment is allowed are likely to have a sharp fall in productivity. Sexual harassment leads to increased absence, high turnover of staff and loss of valuable employees and to a poor public image of the company.
By having laws governing what is allowed and acceptable there is no guess work. This helps to eliminate lawsuits and court cases. It also helps to provide a working environment conducive to all. The same goes for religion. With the increasing amount of religious diversity we have in the United States and in the workforce it is important that there are laws to protect the interest of employers and employees. Religion is a set of beliefs and religious beliefs will rarely affect the duties of our employment.
Laws are in place so that employers have to make reasonable accommodations to the religious needs of workers if it is practical to do so and not exceedingly difficult on the company or other workers. Some accommodations to be considered are relaxing the dress code for the wearing of religious garments, praying and attending worship services. However, the law does allow employers to fairly question employees about their need for accommodation and offer reasonable alternatives. Workplace discrimination is a huge issue.
It spreads negativity and has a devastating effect on any organization, the individual, and society. This is why these laws are so important to the workplace. Bibliography (2008). In R. Mathis, Human Resource Management. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western. http://www1. umn. edu/humanrts/svaw/harassment/explore/4effects. htm (2007) Miner-Rubino K, & Cortina LM, Beyond targets: consequences of vicarious exposure to misogyny at work. The Journal of applied psychology, 92 (5), 1254-69 PMID: 17845084
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