Divine Intervention

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The religious composition of the work force is changing: take heed or face the charges. That's the message being sent to human resources departments throughout the country by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a New York City-based secular, not-for-profit organization that promotes tolerance of people of different religions. In a recent joint survey of 552 human resource professionals, SHRM and Tanenbaum found that more than one-third (36 percent) of businesses have more religions represented in their work forces today than they did five years ago. At the same time, complaints of religious bias in the workplace have increased more than 40 percent since 1992, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And monetary settlements have increased nearly 300 percent from $1.4 million in 1992 to $5.5 million in 2000.

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