by Jorge Gomez • 5 min read
The Religious Freedom and Business Foundation recently released the Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index. Every year, this report ranks the largest companies in America based on their commitment to religious inclusion. 2022 is the first time the report includes Fortune 500 companies.
The REDI Index is a self-reported survey that uses several factors to measure how faith-friendly a company is, including whether it:
Here are the top 10 most faith-friendly corporate workplaces according to the Index:
Based on this report, it appears some of America’s most influential companies realize religious diversity and accommodating people of various faiths and beliefs is good for their business. the report notes that companies that mention religious inclusion tend to have clear procedures for requesting religious accommodations and reporting religious discrimination. This is good news. When religious employees are accommodated and allowed to thrive, everybody wins.
Much progress is being made to promote religious liberty in the workplace, but there’s room for improvement. It remains to be seen whether these companies will actually follow through to apply these protections to their employees of all faiths.
For example, REDI findings this year noted that only 40% of Fortune 500 companies mention or refer to religion on their diversity pages. What’s more, less than 10% of companies report having faith-oriented resource groups.
That suggests more than half of our nation’s most powerful companies are not prioritizing religion as part of their diversity initiatives. Employee resource groups are considered an industry best-practice to help give religious employees an official voice in the company. But access to these groups is rare. Only 37 of the Fortune 500 companies offer them.
Religious Americans who work for these top 10 companies may be more likely to work in a manner that’s consistent with their beliefs. But for thousands of others in the workforce—including several First Liberty clients—that’s simply not the case.
Instead of promoting religious inclusion, some companies are going out of their way to exclude religious employees and treat them as second-class. In many direct and indirect ways, they silence their voices, demote them or even fire them.
First Liberty is fighting right now of behalf of Lacey Smith and Marli Brown, two Christian flight attendants fired for their religious beliefs.
Alaska Airlines wrongfully terminated them. Acting on their religious beliefs, Lacey and Marli politely asked about the company’s support for the “Equality” Act, after the airline invited employees to discuss the topic in an employee-only forum. The airline disparaged their beliefs and promptly fired them over these questions.
First Liberty filed suit in federal district court against Alaska Airlines arguing that their termination violated federal civil rights law that prohibits religious discrimination.
(It would perhaps benefit Alaska Airlines to learn from its competitors when it comes to religious inclusion. According to REDI, American Airlines is the #1 most faith-friendly among Fortune 500 companies).
Similarly, we’re defending Robyn Strader—a nurse practitioner with multiple, advanced degrees—who was fired from CVS Pharmacy after the company accommodated her religious beliefs without issue for six and a half years. Why? Because CVS wants to force its employees to prescribe abortifacients even when it violates the employee’s religious beliefs.
First Liberty is fighting this injustice. We filed a charge of discrimination at the EEOC, making it clear that Robyn should not be forced to choose between her faith and her livelihood.
The corporate canceling of Lacey, Marli and Robyn makes a mockery of laws that protect religious Americans from unlawful discrimination. Their terminations show that woke corporate America won’t hesitate to cancel any employee who expresses traditional, religious beliefs. By defending them, we’re taking a stand against injustice and holding corporations accountable to our country’s steadfast commitment to religious liberty.
Please give now and join First Liberty in this fight. Your support is critical to help Lacey, Marli, Robyn and others receive the justice they deserve. By protecting the jobs of people like them, you’re also safeguarding your own job and the jobs of people close to you.