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The United Kingdom and other countries have experienced recent acts of terrorism in in the name of religion, with the United States seeing an increase in protests by extremist groups. When employees holding or expressing extremist views bring those views to the workplace, it can create numerous management issues, creating polarization and division among employees, frequently resulting in disputes, disruptions and other unwanted conduct. Even conduct engaged in outside the workplace can create concerns, especially when that conduct is made public through commercial media or, as is frequently the case, on social media. While U.S. and U.K. workplace laws are not identical, in managing the repercussions of extremist behavior by employees, a primary focus of employers in both jurisdictions is ensuring the safety of the workplace, followed by ensuring employees are free of harassment or discrimination because of religious beliefs or any other protected rights. Companies should promote tolerance and acceptance of different views in the workplace. However, allowing employees to hold differing religious or political views must be balanced with the obligation to provide a safe work environment. For employers, it is this competing obligation that creates the greatest challenge.

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