Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Best Practices for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in the Workplace

Recommended best practices for protecting freedom of religion or belief in the workplace (see pdf, page 3):

Religious Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment

• A company should not discriminate against a job applicant if the applicant includes religious experience on a resume.

• A company may choose to integrate its religious non-discrimination and nonharassment policy with its general non-discrimination and non-harassment policies. This may include establishing a safe, anonymous reporting system for employees who feel they have been discriminated against or harassed, including for reasons related to an employee’s religion or belief.

Religious Accommodation and Inclusion

• A company should consider Religious Diversity and Inclusion when implementing other policies and programs. For example:

A company should ensure that its dress code policy allows an employee to request a reasonable accommodation if the employee’s religious beliefs require certain grooming and dress practices.

A company may ensure that its cafeterias provide menu options for employees whose religious beliefs require certain dietary restrictions.

A company may consider allowing employees to take a “floating holiday” that may be used on a date of the employee’s choice, which may include a religious holiday.

• A company should welcome inclusiveness in religion and belief, without making religion or belief a matter of coercion. For example:

A company may consider allowing employees to form religious or faith-based employee groups, provided that the company does so on a nondiscriminatory basis.

A company may consider creating designated spaces that employees may use for prayer or other religious devotional practices.

A company should never allow employees to feel compelled or pressured to participate in religious or faith-based observances or activities. For example, if a group of employees in a religious or faith-based group chooses to have a prayer meeting on company premises, other employees should not be implicitly or explicitly pressured to attend the meeting.

Protecting and Promoting FoRB in Our Communities

• A company may integrate its FoRB policy with its corporate social responsibility program. For example:

A company may make religious freedom protections part of contracts for organizations that are part of the supply chain.

A company may choose to pull direct foreign investment out of countries that abuse human rights, including the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

A company may provide resources and fundraising for NGOs that promote religious freedom.

A company may approach governments about creating social or political situations that are more favorable to expatriate employees who will be religious minorities.

• A company may consider making religious freedom initiatives part of its disclosures in its annual statements.