Faith and business are powerful forces for peace

E-NEWS ACTION DONATE

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.