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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 14, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 17May00

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 repercussions."

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


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