As such, the Constitution allows private companies to regulate speech, even to bar political discussion entirely.

Ahmed El-Afandi asked the group who among us knew a Muslim, worked with a Muslim, shared a meal with a Muslim, or spent time with a Muslim person in our homes. Religious diversity is part of life in the greater La Crosse Area, and embracing this diversity enriches our social and working lives.

As with other areas of diversity, research also shows the business benefits of transparency, fairness, and inclusivity.

A recent article in cited a survey by the Tanebaum organization showing that “companies that don’t provide information about their religious discrimination policies are more likely to have staff seeking new jobs than workers at companies that do.

Job satisfaction is another key issue: workers at companies that don’t offer flexible hours for religious observance are more than twice as likely to say they don’t look forward to coming to work.” What steps should employers take to welcome and accommodate people of various organized religions as well as those individuals with what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission refers to as “sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs?

(Prohibitions of this type are generally in violation of employment law.) A proactive strategy taken by the law firm Ernst and Young can be instructive: the company has established “quiet rooms…

which are open to all employees to take a quick break, to reflect, pray or even to take medication.” It also plans major religious and cultural holidays into its company calendar for work scheduling, and provides dietary guidance to employees planning company events.Employers must provide “reasonable accommodations” to all employees that allow them to practice their religious beliefs in the workplace.Such accommodations include, but are not limited to: In addition to providing reasonable accommodations, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their religion by underpayment or unequal payment, wrongful termination, and failure to promote or hire an individual based on that person’s religion, among others.We had a good turnout, and great conversation, on the topic of religious diversity in the workplace for our May Lunch and Learn.In addition to the legal issues around accommodating and avoiding discrimination on the basis of religious diversity, our speakers reminded us to consider the interpersonal dimensions of religious diversity, and the corresponding need to be thoughtful and intentional about inclusivity, and about challenging stereotypes.I understand that the law provides employees the opportunity for religious accommodation meaning employers should provide employee time off to worship, attend their church, and observe their religious holidays.