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Beware the Brit Humes In Your Office

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What if you were having trouble finishing a major project at work and your boss suggested you "come to Jesus" because it would help you deal with your challenge? And let's say you were a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or an atheist, and you really didn't want to come to Jesus?

In the workplace my friends, this is a big fat no no.

Legally you are not allowed to push your religion down anyone's throat at work. You also can't put down a colleague's religious faith and you can't hinder an individual's right to practice their faith if it doesn't impede day to day business.

Pretty simple, no?

Well, not quite.

Discrimination in the workplace is alive and well. Actually, it's at record levels when it comes to religion and the disabled, according to a report on 2009 bias charges released yesterday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And I recently wrote about how religious expression in the workplace is frowned upon.

Are you surprised? Probably not if you had the pleasure of hearing Fox News newsman Brit Hume's comments recently to Tiger Woods.

Hume put down the golfer's faith of Buddhism and suggested he turn to Christianity to help him deal with his philandering problem.

"I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith," Hume said. "So my message to Tiger would be, "Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

The fact that a journalist -- and I use that term loosely as it pertains to Hume -- would go on a national news show and put down another high-profile individual's faith should tell all of us that religious bigotry, and bigotry as a whole, is a growing problem in this country.

The numbers released by the EEOC yesterday are disheartening.

Religious bias charges increased to 3,386 in 2009, the highest number in the last decade. And charges for disability discrimination jumped to a record 21,451 last year, up from 19,453 in 2008. National origin bias is also on the rise, with charges climbing to 11,134 in 2009.

I asked EEOC spokesman David Grinberg why he thought bias was on the rise.

"The increases in national origin and religion charges may be an outgrowth of the fact that the American workplace has become more ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse," he said.


Clearly, people like Hume don't seem to much like the diversity. And have you listened to the constant anti-diversity rhetoric oozing from a host of commentators since the Christmas Day attempted airplane bombing.

This from Retired Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney:

"If you are an 18-28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip searched. If we don't do that, there's a very high probability that we're gonna lose an airliner."

When I hear stuff like this, I'm not surprised there's discrimination in the workplace. Isn't the workplace just a reflection of the country as a whole? If it is, it's looking like a pretty ugly mirror image right now.

 

Follow Eve Tahmincioglu on Twitter: www.twitter.com/careerdiva