Hobby Lobby: Managing Conflict Between Religion and Human Resource Management

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Managing Conflict Between Religion and Human Resource Management Legal/Ethics: Hobby Lobby

Introduction and Purpose
In Matters of Faith: Make a Good Faith Effort to Accommodate, Patricia Digh writes, “Religion is often an important aspect of a person’s identity” (shrm.org). She continues, “Religious devotion and diversity are on the rise in the United States, and the combination of these trends is creating new challenges and new demands for employers. As a result, handling employees’ future requests for religious accommodation may require Human Resource (HR) professionals to demonstrate greater sensitivity, tolerance and understanding of various religious beliefs”

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Specifically, this document will examine HR policies Hobby Lobby, a well-known retailer with a strong legal religious foundation, has adopted to manage the strain between its strong religious foundation and Title VII requirements with regard to religious rights.

“A 2012 Gallup poll found that 69 percent of people in the U.S. consider themselves ‘very’ or ‘moderately’ religious” (shrm.org). The same study also reveals, “The U.S. remains a majority-Christian nation. About 77 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian, including Protestants, Catholics and Mormons, according to Gallup’s random sample of 326,721 adults nationwide” (shrm.org).

Hobby Lobby is one of the largest privately owned companies in America employing 22,000 workers with more 500 stores in 46 states nationwide. David Green founded Hobby Lobby in 1970. It is headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK. The company started as an extension of Greco Products, a miniature picture frames company. Currently there are 588 stores across the nation, with more than 67,000 crafting and home decor products (http://www.forbes.com/companies/hobby-lobby-stores). It has been considered a leader in the arts and crafts industry for more than twenty years.
Recently companies like Hobby Lobby, Forever 21, In-N-Out Burger, Chik-fil-A, Timberland and Interstate Batteries are putting “their religion right out in the open, and are

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