12 Sep 2022


Religion in the Workplace: What are the ethical issues?

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Academic level: College

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Basically, scholars ask where the line is drawn to religion when it comes to the work place. For a number of years, this subject has been an increasingly polarized issue as far the workplace is concern. This subject has forced many administrators in the work place to balance the interest of patrons, employees, ad co-workers of the establishment. Whenever an employee is hired, an employer cannot discriminate based on national origin, sex, religion, colour, or race ( Swanson, & Fisher, 2011).    Freedom of worship gives every employee the right to practice worship of whatever religion one believes in. Individuals should never push their religion based on the perspective of others, instead one should never believe on being judged on the religion that one should wish to practise. Opinions will be made based on religion practice in the workplace concerning utilitarianism, emotivism, and deontology. 

What are the ethical issues? 

Religion needs to be allowed at the place of work, but this not needs to affect other workers and customers. America is a country that has different beliefs and many religions with various practices established o the religion that a person is belongs in and not belonging to a specific religion. Normally, people believe that they have the right to believe I something. But, this is not normal because people still judge people ( Harman, 2006) . Ordinarily, individuals believe that religion need to left at the door. However, others do not like carrying religion where they may ever go to. There exists several perspectives concerning feelings as far as this topic is concern that leaves the employers feeling distraught. An employer needs to be fair to every employee so that it can make it difficult in making the right choice for the company. 

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The highest thing that comes to religion as far as the workplace is concern would be wearing anything that does not correspond to one’s religion. There has been a biggest debate concerning problems that lead to law suits. Is it possible for one to wear a pin that promotes a person’s belief? Is it possible to establish a tattoo that shows one’s belief? There exist several individuals that thin yes while others thin no. 

In essence, the two main theories that defines and justify principles and moral rules are deontological and utilitarianism ethics. Consequentialism also known as utilitarianism is a moral theory that was refined and developed in the modern world by Jeremy Bentham. Currently, there exist several types of utilitarianism ( Tavani, 2011) . Basically, this approach to morality suggests that there are no moral acts like stealing or keeping false promises. Instead, the wrongness or rightness of a rule or act is solely a matter of moral good. For instance these include; individual desire, satisfaction, knowledge, health, happiness, or pleasure. Actually, utilitarianism suggests that morality is a fact of moral good produced due to rules and moral action, moral responsibility is not intrinsic but is instrumental. Morality is a subject of an end but is not an end to its own self. 

Where are there breaches of ethical behaviour? 

Whenever it comes to religion, everyone seems quite. Religion will and has always been something controversial subject to be addressed. In the present society, there exists several religions that are available to be practiced and no one should be treated or attacked differently concerning the religion beliefs in the place of work. The Americans enjoy two freedom of worship under the first amendment. These are; the right to be free form imposed government and the privilege to practice any religion of choice. Basically, religion is a fact of practice and belief that do not affect the role of employment. Federal and state laws requires an employee not to be treated based on one’s religion. The golden rule as far as deontology is concern need to treat others the way you would want them to treat you. 

If an individual respects another’s belief as an atheist, the same would be expected for them to belief in God or the religion that I would choose in my place of faith. Deontologist suggests that an action need to be assessed based on the consequences. The fact concerning religion is that any person can find something that is wrong with it. America has faced several things in the past years instead of establishing things at the work place we need to establish things that bond us together apart from tearing people apart. America has gone through a number of things I the past years that instead of establishing wrong things in the work place people should establish for solutions that link people together. This country is common around the world as a place of opportunities. Individuals migrate from their own countries so as to make a better living and live free. For a number of years, many people move to America after they leave their homeland. 

According to Harvard University religious diversity at the workplace in America as far as Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim is concern is impacted by the diversity I religion that has become more prominent. The Civil rights acts Title VII of 1964 does not allow any employer to discriminate any individual based on religion at the time of firing or hiring. The same act allows the employers to be reasonable when it comes to accommodating the employee religious practices or the prospective of an employee not unless doing such thing can create a hardship- that is based on the employer. For instance, this can apply whenever a schedule changes in case of religious observances. Also, religion addresses the grooming practices. Religious accommodation allows an employee to wear a head religious covering like hijab or yarmulke for the Hindus and certain facial hairstyles like bread, Sikh uncut, dreadlock. This also includes an employer acceptance of religion prohibition in contradiction of putting some clothing’s like miniskirts or pants. The Supreme Court of United states rules that hardship that is undue should not be incurred by an employer at a minimal cost so as to protect the religious practices of an employee. 

The Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States has established a number of harassment at workplaces based on religion since 1388. Especially, 2011 the number rose to 4151 complaints but this has since declined. Many cases involve the Sikhs and the Muslims after the 2001 terrorist attack. This can be explained due to an increase in awareness of the channels and awareness that redress wrong things. There is a legal framework for rights that is important to moral frameworks that look for workplace religious diversity. 

The categorical moral imperative principle is very universal that is applicable to every worker in the equivalent moral situation. According to deontological ethics, “If you want to establish maximum pleasure then you must encounter pain”. Clearly, there are several issues that arise due to the traditions of a religion some of these issues are comparable across. The key accommodation to religious rights is education and accommodating the rights of minority religious groups. This protects the religious rights of every individual. There are several issues that need to be resolved through negations and education. Additional writings and research in the workplace profiles a hick’s framework that is respectful to the religious diversity as far as the workplace is concern. The various disputes that concerns clothing’s mandated by religion is a carrying implement according to religion the other pragmatic concerns must be based on challenges and reality and the religious diversity I the United states places of work. 

Ethical Theory in Relation to Individuals 

There are two ethical theories that make an attempt to validate and specify moral principles and rules and they are deontological and utilitarianism ethics. It is essential to note that these are some of the theories that highly talk about religion in sociological terms. Utilitarianism is a ethical theory founded and defined in the present universe in the writings of John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. There are several varieties of the said theory, but on basic terms, the utilitarian model to religion and morality entails that no moral act, such as stealing is intrinsically wrong or right ( Hicks, 2003). Or maybe, the rightness or unsoundness of an act or guideline is exclusively a matter of the general non-moral well-being, for instance, joy, bliss, learning, or fulfilment of individual craving created in the results of doing that act or taking after that principle. In whole, as indicated by utilitarianism, ethical quality involves the non-moral act delivered that outcomes from moral actions and rules, and moral obligation is instrumental, not inherent Levy, T. I. (2000). Philosophical quality is a way to some way; it is not the least bit an end in itself. 

Space never takes into consideration a detailed study of utilitarianism here. This is it to say that many moral scholars and philosophers have thought it defective. One principle issue is that utilitarianism, if received, legitimizes as ethically things that are plainly immoral ( Hicks, 2003). For example, utilitarianism can be used to legitimize punishing a blameless man or subjugating a little group of individuals if such acts create an amplification of results. In any case, these demonstrations are obviously indecent paying attention to how useful they might be for the greatest number. 

For this and many other reasons, frequent masterminds have upheld a second kind of good hypothesis, deontological morals. Deontological ethics have no less than three vital elements. In the first place, obligation ought to be accomplished for duty's purpose. For instance, acts of lying, promise breaking, or assassination are inherently wrong and people do have an obligation not to do these things. 

In any case, results are not what makes the acts right, similar to the case with utilitarianism. Or maybe, best case scenario, consequences help people figure out which activity is righteous with regards to what is individual’s obligation. Outcomes help people confirm their obligations; they are not what make specific obligations. 

As we will find in Part Two, this idea is exceptionally hard to legitimize in the event that one forsakes the philosophical tenet of man being made in the picture of God. All things considered, defended or unjustified, deontological morals suggest that individuals are in themselves with inborn quality. 

Third, an ethical rule is an absolute basic that is universalizable ; that is, it must be material for everybody who is in the same good circumstance. Moral explanations do not say, "if one needs to amplify delight versus torment in this occurrence, then do such and such." Rather, moral proclamations are objectives or charges that hold for the kind of act in thought, for example, speaking the truth. Moral explanations say, "stay faithful to your obligations," do not murder and such events. This means that there are some things that people are not supposed to do or do. It is essential to note that back in the days, God gave some commandments that people are supposed to observe and take note ( Hicks, 2003). Killing in itself is a sin that all communities as well as individuals have to observe. Utilitarianism and deontological are theories that great philosophers came up with many years ago. The theories help shape the manner in which people conduct their daily activities. 

Applied ethics deals with matters in public and private life. The major difference regarding the theories is that utilitarianism aims at an objective of greatest approach and legalizes any act that achieves the specific objective. On the other hand, deontological theories maintain that some acts are in most cases wrong, regardless of whether the act relates to a desirable result ( Alidadi, 2010).    For instance, religion holds that is wrong to murder an individual and does not take into account if the person being murdered has committed an offense. In the modern world, some countries execute crime victims. Nonetheless, many churches have come forward to discontinue the event. This is in sharp contrast to utilitarianism holds that maybe that is the best action to take because it leads to a desirable income. 

Activities in regards to deontology are judged regardless of their outcome. It is critical to note that an activity in deontology is judged independently of the results. Deontological philosophers believe that have the special capacity for rationality. They believe that no other animal have such propensity to conduct reasoned thought and action and it is generally this aptitude that requires people to act in accord with and for the sake of moral duty and law ( Hicks, 2003). Regardless of this, God created human beings with a sense of reasoning that other animals do not possess. That is the major reason man takes care of animals, which entails conducting themselves in some acceptable manner. 

Many places in the world have ethical behaviours that people need to people should observe. For instance, many educational institutions in the world have a dress code that students should and must observe. There are other norms in the world that individuals have to maintain to survive. These are the notions that constitute ethical behaviour. Religion, through churches and individuals teach the morals that condemn unethical behaviours. It is essential to note that both utilitarianism and deontological theories mean well in relation to ethics. It is the duty of all individuals to make a clear interpretation of each of them for the well-being of the world ( Alidadi, 2010).    A person conducting the right activity at the right time cannot be involved in any unethical behaviour. One of the major criticisms of deontology is that the theory discounts results as a binding factor in evaluating the morality of an action. Whereas it is not wise to fully rely on results, as in the case of utilitarianism, it is also not the best idea to totally ignore the outcome. 


Alidadi, K. (2010).    Religion and the Workplace . RELIGARE Working Paper 3, Leuven. 

Harman, L. B., & American Health Information Management Association. (2006).    Ethical 

challenges in the management of health information . Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 

Hicks, D. A. (2003).    Religion and the workplace: Pluralism, spirituality, leadership

Cambridge University Press. 

Levy, T. I. (2000). Religion in the workplace.    Management Review ,    89 (2), 38. 

Swanson, D. L., & Fisher, D. G. (2011).    Toward assessing business ethics education

Charlotte, N.C: Information Age Pub. 

Tavani, H. T. (2011).    Ethics and technology: Controversies, questions, and strategies for 

ethical computing . Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. 

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