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USA: Three Out of Five Workers Fear to Share Their Religious Points of View in the Workplace

The Ipsos survey — by initiative of Viewpoint Diversity Score of the Alliance Defending Freedom, entitled “Freedom in Work” — was carried out with approximately 3,000 employed American adults, between October and November 2022, with a credibility interval of +/- 2.5 points in all the sample. It was published during the legal battle over the firing of an American Christian postal worker, who refused to deliver parcels on Sundays. 

Gerald Groff was fired as a postman. First Liberty Institute, Baker Botts LLP, the Church State Council and the Independence Law Center  presented an appeal to the US Supreme Court for violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Law, which prohibits employers to discriminate for religious beliefs.  

In May 2022, a panel of three Judges of the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 12 against Groff, and concluded that the US Postal Service could oblige him to work on Sundays. Patty Shwartz, the Circuit’s Judge, appointed by Obama, was the author of the majority’s opinion and concluded that to exempt Groff from work on Sunday would “cause excessive difficulty” to the Postal Service. 

“To exempt Groff from work on Sundays caused more than a minimum cost in USPS, because, in reality, he imposed on his fellow works, interrupted the workplace and the flow of work, and lowered employee morale,” wrote Shwartz.

The result of the survey reflects that two-thirds of employed adults  in the United States say that to talk about their political or religious beliefs at work can harm them.

Highlighted also in the survey i that one out of four surveyed knew “someone who has suffered negative consequences for expressing respectfully their religious and political points of view.”

Jeremy Tedesco, the Senior Lawyer and Senior Vice-President of ADF’s Corporative Commitment, said “we created the Business Punctuation Index on different points of view to help businesses to measure and improve their respect in face of religious diversity or diversity of opinion.”

Tedesco added: “Businesses could take great steps to recover the trusty of their employees and to improve their scores in the Business Index by doing four things: first, adopt our policy model of religious adaptations; second, adopt our policy model that protects the exercise of employees’ civil rights outside of work; third, include religious charity organizations in the charity donations programs of employees; and fourth, take part in the survey’s  Business Index’s part, which asks businesses to make known the internal policies and practices that involve civil liberties.”

In addition, the Report points out that 54% of those surveyed believe that to share political content on their own social networks’ accounts can affect their work negatively and 42% of those seeking employment feel less able to ask for employment in a business with a work culture that is hostile to their religious or political points of view.