University of Baltimore Law Review


With the current emphasis on workplace diversity, researchers have noted an increase in religious expression on the job and, consequently, in religious friction. Most of the literature focuses on speech, but other forms of expression, such as religious posters, symbols, and music, can cause dissension as well. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are required to accommodate the religious practices of employees in the workplace, unless doing so will cause undue hardship. Protected activity includes religious expression when employees sincerely believe their

religion requires it. This Article explores the accommodation of religious expression other than speech, when it may impose hardship, and how such hardship can be avoided. Religious displays are most commonly associated with four kinds of hardship to employers: customer alienation, coworker distraction, religious harassment of coworkers, and mistaken attribution to employers or coworkers. Title VII law requires the employer and the religious employee to try to reach a compromise. Each form of hardship needs a different approach.

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