In DEI discussions, there’s a lot of talk about equality versus equity. How treating everyone the same isn’t the same as treating everyone fairly. At Ask A Manager, this came up because of how religious days are dealt with in different jobs. In a Christian-based society (which America is, even if people don’t want to admit/acknowledge it). Hell, Christmas is a federal holiday. The fact that many people don’t consider it a Christian holiday is how dominant the religion is in this country. It’s easy to say as the majority that you don’t think of it as Christian holiday.
The discussion is about how to be fair to people from other religions. In Judaism, for example, there are Purim, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hoshanah, and more. For Muslims, there are Ramadam, Eid-ul-Fitr, and more. Alison made it the “Ask the readers” question of the week, and there have been several interesting answers.
The one that irritates me, though, is that people with no religino get no extra-day. One person said it’s like people without children don’t get days off for parent-related things and people who aren’t sick don’t take off sick days. Which is fine in each individual situation, I guess, but it’s aggravating in the aggregate. More than one person brought up this point without acknowledging that some people won’t need any of those things. But I know that people don’t give a shit about me (not me personally, but the categories that I’m in) because I’m not a parent, I’m not religious, I’m not married, I don’t have parents who depend upon me, or anything like that.
People are suggesting floating holidays or the ability to swap (so you can work Christmas if you want, asy Yom Kippur off). Or floating holidays that you can use for any day that is personally meaningful to you. What if you don’t have either of those? I do’nt care about holidays. At all. But if I was working in an office, I would want my fair share of days off. If I was working in an office, I would have had to take time off for my medical crisis. Other than that, though, I don’t need any of the other things being talked about.
That’s why I think if the office is open for Christmas, swapping days plus a standard number of days for floating holidays would work fairly well, I tihkn. I hate the argument that any inequity is done by the employer and not the employee who gets the benefits. I mean, I agree in theory, but if the employee getting the perks is putting pressure on their coworker (like a parent bugging a coworker without children) to take a shift, do their work, etc., then that coworker is part of the problem. An active one.
A few people in the thread said that the best thing to do was to just give everyone a set amount of days and let them use the days for whatever they wanted. THat’s the camp I would be in as well. People were saying that religious people from minority religions get shafted by this, but to a certain extent there is no way that it can be completely equal. Or truly fair.