Discrimination based on religion and national origin

Discrimination Based on Religion and National Origin Sears and the “ English Only Rule” The Court’s decision of Mary Vs. Sears case is in accordance to the law protecting National Origin. Although employers cannot base on national origin as a reason for dismissing or denying a job, employers are allowed to require English fluency as a qualification so long as it is directly needed for the job. The “ English Only Policy” is an organization-wide policy prescribing the use of English to cater the needs of the customers; thus, English fluency is a requirement in the company as it directly applies to the position of Mary as part of the organization. Accordingly, as it is made known to her that customers need English speaking sales professionals, Mary was aware of the needs of the customers as well as her responsibilities, which include speaking in English. Additionally, the Spanish language was not prohibited as long as it is used to communicate with a Spanish-speaking customer.
In the context of Mary’s case, it can be said that the imposition of the “ English Only Policy” is to prevent misunderstanding between employees and customers. Murray and Bernard mentioned that with the diversity in the workforce today, there is a need to impose a preferred language to ensure effective and comprehensible communication among customers and employees (1). Additionally, Mary’s dismissal is not merely based on her language, but it is based on the idea that she did not use the prescribed language preferred by the company. For this reason, Sears did not violate the law that protects employees against racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination.
Religion-based Discrimination and Religious Preference
Based on Title VII, Tucker and Haddad flesh out that the concept of religion, in the juridical context, includes all the religious practices, observances, and beliefs of an individual (217). With this definition, it can be said that religion has a wide scope that accommodating all of the employees’ religious preferences may be difficult. Furthermore, although it is a general rule that employers should not discriminate an employee’s religion, service industries and religious-related organizations are exempted from the limitations prescribed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Service industries and organizations associated with a particular religion can discriminate an employee’s religion. For instance, the airline industry, in its service-oriented business process, is allowed to disregard the religious practices of their employees and oblige them to work especially when the work is a business necessity.
Considering the rationale of the exception, I agree that the airline industry should be allowed to have religious preferences because the industry aims to provide services to people throughout the year, irrespective of the religious practices of its employees. While organizations should respect the religions of their employees, it is not reasonable to disregard the activities of the customers just to let airline employees observe their religious practices. Additionally, accommodating all the religious preferences of the employees would mean organizational hardship (lack of employees on shift) and financial burdens due to canceled flights. Aside from this, should employees consider it extremely necessary to participate in their religious observances, then they can file vacation leaves to allow their employers to find other employees that can take their place.
Works Cited
Murray, Gregory V., and Daniel J. Bernard. “ Ethic and Religious Discrimination in
the Workplace.” Vercruysse Murray & Calzone P. C. Vercruysse Murray &
Calzone P. C., 2006. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. .
Tucker, Joyce E., and Yvonne R. Haddad. “ Religious and National Origin
Discrimination; The Forgotten Duo Stirring Post 9/11.” Post & Schell P. C.
Post & Schell P. C., May 2003. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. .