It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes, preparing to walk across the stage, shake a few hands, and receive my diploma.
Among my greatest worries at that point – besides whether I could make it across the stage without tripping – were my post-graduation plans. I had just accepted a job in a place where I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t even know where I was going to live.
In all of the craziness and busyness of leaving school behind and starting a career, your faith may not be the first thing on your mind. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t the first thing on my mind either. But it is important to remember that God has placed you in your work environment for a reason. And because of that, it’s important to know what your rights are to live out your faith in the workplace.
1. Can I share the Gospel with my co-workers?
Employers can share the Gospel with their employees as long as it is clear that performance is not determined by whether or not employees accept their employer’s beliefs and an employee’s request that sharing stop is honored.
2. Can I have religious items, such as a Bible, on my desk at work?
Yes, you are generally permitted to have religious items, such as a Bible, at your personal workspace if you are allowed to have other non-work-related items, such as posters or books or pictures, in the office.
3. Can I be forced to promote messages or events that conflict with my faith?
The short answer is typically no, you cannot be forced to violate your conscience.
For example, if you are a creative professional, the First Amendment protects you from government officials who try to force you to use your God-given talents to promote an event or message that goes against your faith. However, we represent a number of clients – florists, cake artists, photographers, etc. – that have been told they must promote messages or events that violate their faith or be punished. Alliance Defending Freedom is working to ensure that they will not be punished simply for living consistently with their faith.
If you are an employee and a work requirement violates your faith, many employers must try to provide you a religious accommodation so that you do not have to fulfill that requirement. You should inform your employer in writing that the particular requirement conflicts with your belief. And unless it would cost your employer a significant amount of money to accommodate that belief, you should not be forced to do that.
Alliance Defending Freedom has created a legal guide for Christian business owners, An Employer’s Guide to Faith in the Workplace, with answers to these questions and many more, as well as what they can do to protect their right to live and work according to their beliefs.
So, there’s one less thing to worry about as you start this new chapter in your life. When you leave school and enter the workforce, you don’t have to leave your faith at home. ADF is here to ensure just that.
Understand your rights to work according to your faith
Download a free copy of An Employer’s Guide to Faith in the Workplace.
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