Holidays at Work: Culturally Competent or Offensive? What You SHOULD Know

Is your company culturally competent during the holidays? Ensure employees’ festivities don’t lead to discrimination lawsuits.

How Does Your Company Stay Culturally Competent During the Holidays?While seasonal festivities and office holiday parties are common this time of year, companies continue to grapple with the most appropriate way to include everyone. As the workplace becomes increasingly diverse, how can companies ensure their employees’ year-end festivities don’t offend—or lead to discrimination charges—while maintaining the importance of religious holidays to those who celebrate them?

DiversityInc has compiled a collection of best practices from religiously inclusive workplaces and data from the DiversityInc Top 50 to help your company navigate the cultural competence and legalities of religion in the workplace.

Ask DiversityInc: How Does Your Company Handle Religious Holidays?
When allowing employees to celebrate the holidays with tasteful decorations and celebrations, how do organizations make sure that those who don’t celebrate are not offended?

Best Practices on Religiously Inclusive Workplaces
Employers must provide “reasonable accommodations” for employees’ religious practices, per Title VII. But what exactly does that mean?

Laws on Religion, Dress & the Workplace
What’s permissible and what’s not? We spell out the legal precedents for you.

Ask the White Guy: My Managers Are 95% White, Christian–Do I Have a Chance?
What can a person do if they’re in a company where the in-crowd goes to a certain church?

Ask DiversityInc: How Can Diversity Management Measure Religious Inclusion?
Can religion be represented/highlighted as a primary diversity metric in an overall assessment?

Ask the White Guy: What About Religious Expression?
How much religious expression in the workplace is acceptable? CEO Luke Visconti discusses the difference between proselytizing and religious expression.

Ask the White Guy: Are Traditional Christian Values Part of Diversity?
Does diversity management mean ignoring those who hold traditional Christian values?

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  • Gary M. Morin

    This is an excellent topic as most of the time, it’s a perfect joke. The EEO office, at [deleted], once sent out a memo advising managers not to hold Christmas parties that are simply renamed “holiday parties,” to LOOK LIKE it was diverse. At the same time, that’s exactly what [deleted] EEO and so-called diversity office DID.

    I’d rather people just discriminate or not care and call it what it is. It is a Christmas party, don’t pretend otherwise. I’d rather know to my face that you don’t care about me and about inclusion than pretend that you do.

  • I wish you all and your families, a very Merry Christmas!

    For all others who do not recognize Christmaw, Happy Holidays.

    God Bless you all.

  • Dream on about accomodations. As a Sabbath observer, I do not work on the Sabbath. For this reason alone no employer will hire me.
    I have offered to work Sun through Friday plus legal holidays. The discrimination is blatant….or is it that the employers just don’t want to be bothered with scheduling issues???????????????

    • Since many workplaces schedule employees to work weekdays — that is, Monday-Friday — it is difficult to see why your unavailability to work on Saturday would result in “no employer will hire me.” My own (small) office has an employee who devotes Saturdays to Church and family, but, in many years, the issue has never come up. I only learned of it during an off-hours social conversation with her.

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