Religious Expression in the Workplace: Whose Right is Right?

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 10:00 to 11:30
Teaching Room 1 (AED 1.20), Ground Floor, Rowan House, North Campus, Maynooth Univeristy

Although religious expression in the workplace is protected by United States federal law, the diversity of religious beliefs makes the law complicated to apply.  Religious discrimination disputes are now the fastest growing type of complaint among all anti-discrimination legal protections in the US.
What happens when religious expressions clash?  Drawing on almost 12 years of federal litigation, Professor Lund Dean will explore what types of behaviours are more likely to get organizations in legal hot water, and what demographic groups have been most impacted by such disputes.  Because litigation tends to foreshadow changes in law, expectations of how anti-discrimination law is likely to change in future will also be discussed.
This seminar’s topic is part of a larger project examining the changing nature of religious discrimination in American workplaces, and how religious diversity and identity are shaping workplace policies. Particularly in a post-9/11 workplace where non-Christian faith traditions are taking hold, empirical examination of how religious minorities are experiencing a U.S. Constitutionally-protected right is timely. The ultimate goal of the project is to help inform more inclusive managerial practices, not only in the United States but in other countries whose citizens enjoy legally-protected religious freedom but which may also be struggling with broadly increasing diversity of expression.

This seminar will be of interest to legal, organisational and business scholars and practitioners. Attendance is free but places are limited.  To book a place, please email

Professor Kathy Lund Dean holds the inaugural Board of Trustees Distinguished Chair in Leadership & Ethics in the Dept of Economics and Management at Gustavus Adolphus College.  She has held a number of long-term leadership positions in the Academy of Management and the OBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators.  She is co-editor of the Journal of Management Education, one of the most influential journals in the field of management education.  Her research streams are diverse and range across ethical decision-making in new managers, and spirituality and religion in the workplace and she has published in a number of highly ranked management publications including Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Inquiry, Organisational Research Methods, Journal of Organisational Change Management, and Academy of Management Executive.