43 regarding the harassment and demanding that it

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43 regarding the harassment and demanding that it cease, that appropriate disciplinary action be taken if it continues, and/or that a different mail carrier be assigned to Julia’s route. C. Special Considerations for Employers When Balancing Anti-Harassment and Accommodation Obligations With Respect to Religious Expression While some employees believe that religion is intensely personal and private, others are open about their religion. 111 There are employees who may believe that they have a religious obligation to share their views and to try to persuade co-workers of the truth of their religious beliefs, i.e. , to proselytize. Some employers, too, may wish to express their religious views and share their religion with their employees. 112 As noted above, however, some employees may perceive proselytizing or other religious expression as unwelcome harassment based on their own religious beliefs and observances, or lack thereof. This mix of divergent beliefs and practices can give rise to conflicts requiring employers to balance the rights of employees who wish to express their religious beliefs with the rights of other employees to be free from religious harassment under the foregoing Title VII harassment standards. 113 As discussed in more detail in § IV-C-6 of this document, an employer never has to accommodate expression of a religious belief in the workplace where such an accommodation could potentially constitute harassment of co-workers, because that would pose an undue hardship for the employer. Therefore, while Title VII requires employers to accommodate an employee’s sincerely held religious belief in engaging in religious expression ( e.g. , proselytizing) in the workplace, an employer does not have to allow such expression if it imposes an undue hardship on the operation of the business. For example, it would be an undue hardship for an employer to accommodate proselytizing by an employee if it constituted potentially 111 When asked whether they had discussed religion in the workplace in the past twenty-four hours, 48% of Americans answered yes. See George Gallup, Jr. & Timothy Jones, The Next American Spirituality: Finding God in the Twenty-First Century , at 72 (Cook Communication Ministries 2000). 112 Employers are permitted to exercise their religion to the extent that such exercise does not infringe on their employees’ religious beliefs. Townley , 859 F.2d at 621 (“Where the religious practices of employers . . . and employees conflict, Title VII does not, and could not, require individual employers to abandon their religion. Rather, Title VII attempts to reach a mutual accommodation of the conflicting religious practices.”). 113 In a survey conducted by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, 66% of employees surveyed reported that they had witnessed religious discrimination in the workplace. Religious Bias in the Workplace: The Employee’s View (Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, 1999) (executive summary available at ) (last visited July 2, 2008).
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