Summarized by Paul Pickett
Prayer is unusual at Utah firms
Deseret News 13May00 D6
By Linda Thomson: Deseret News business writer
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- This article talks about the issue of prayer
at the workplace. It focuses on an employee of O.C. Tanner, Toni
McMurtrey. The founder and namesake of O.C. Tanner was himself a
member of the LDS Church, although not active in later years. He is
remembered for writing the LDS Sunday School manual "Christ's Ideals
for Living." Although this company makes room for prayer at work as
long as it is during the employee's time many other Utah companies
shy away from this sensitive issue.
"It's hard because you do have to be real careful," she said.
"People are basically afraid these days for fear of any legal
Given the litigious nature of society, many companies avoid having
any religious activity connected with the workplace. Some 1,811
complaints involving religious discrimination were filed with the federal
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal year 1999, up 30
percent from the 1,388 filed in 1992.
The simple fear of causing hard feelings or misunderstandings
appears to be a factor in how Utah workplaces approach the issue. Some
workers suggest that because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints is such an enormous presence in Utah, many people are extra
careful to be polite and respectful toward fellow employees of differing
religious beliefs or denominations.
For more information on Christian's Rights in the workplace you can visit
the American Center for Law and Justice website http://www.aclj.org.