Survey: One-Third of Employers Do Not Accommodate Religion at Work

New York — Sept. 2

Consider a typical workplace: meetings, production deadlines, coffee or smoke breaks and casual Fridays all come to mind as part of the routine. But when it comes to prayer breaks, wearing religious garb in the office and other accommodations specific to religion, it’s a different story.

A new survey by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding found that more than one-third of workers report observing or being subjected to religious bias at work. The survey aimed to examine religious bias and discrimination against American workers.

Other findings from the survey include:

Half of non-Christians surveyed believe that their employers are ignoring their religious needs.

Employees in companies without religious diversity policies are almost twice as likely to be searching for another job as their counterparts in companies with policies.

Among American workers at companies where religious bias had been reported to managers or human resources, nearly one-third of workers report that the company took no actions to stop the bias.

Nearly six-out-of-ten atheists say that people look down on their beliefs, as do nearly one-third of non-Christian religious workers (31 percent) and white evangelical Protestants (32 percent).

Atheists (55 percent) are substantially more likely than workers in any other group to report that they face a lot of discrimination. However, unlike white evangelical Protestants, atheists are also more likely than workers overall to believe that Muslims (66 percent), gay and lesbian people (63 percent), Hispanics (50 percent) and women (39 percent) experience a lot of discrimination.

Source: The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding