The holidays are a time for joy, and nothing will ruin that faster than a run in with your HR department this holiday season. The holiday season is a popular time for allegations of religious discrimination or harassment in the workplace, and we want you to stay legal this winter with our tips about decorating for the holidays.
Our country was founded on religious freedom, and it’s important to remember that freedom during the holiday season in the workplace. An essential part of religious freedom is our right as Americans to participate fully in society without facing discrimination based on our religious beliefs. When it comes to decorating for the holidays, there are different rules for private businesses and government establishments. Know your rights in the workplace to keep the Christmas cheer this holiday season.
Private employees have the option of allowing or banning decorations whether they are religious or not. It’s important to recognize the different religious backgrounds and beliefs in your workplace. Title VII prevents private businesses from discriminating against religion in any form, including religious decor. If you choose to ban holiday decor, you must ban decor for all employees and religious backgrounds to be fair.
If you choose to allow holiday decor, a good idea is to represent many religions in your workplace. It is always best to be as inclusive as possible to all of your staff members and encourage every employee to decorate for their individual beliefs.
Government establishments are prohibited from promoting a particular religion. When decorating for the holidays, make sure the decor you choose is neutral and doesn’t endorse a specific religion. Government establishments may decide to ban all holiday decor from the workplace.
In all workplaces, holiday decorations should be respectful of the religious beliefs of all employees and your customers. It is best to use decorations such as ornaments, trees, wreaths, and garland instead of highly religious decor such as the Star of David or a nativity scene to decorate. Above all, ensure your employees are treated equally when it comes to differences in religion and beliefs this holiday season.