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Marriage as a Condition of Employment?

This story describes an employer in Iran that has made marriage a condition of continued employment.   The employer, a state-owned company, described the obligation as a ‘moral and religious duty’.  Now, the political and religious environment in Iran is obviously much different than in Canada, and I am not aware of any Canadian employers attempting to impose a formal marriage requirement (although I suspect that being married is an informal job requirement in some workplaces).  To be safe, human rights codes in Canada include “marital status’ as a protected ground of discrimination protection in the employment context (see Section 5 of the Ontario Human Rights Code).

Now consider this:  What if an employer claims that ‘marriage’ is a requirement of his religion–as the employer in the story alleges–and that he should not be required to employ and work alongside people who do not respect his religious beliefs (i.e. non-married people)?  How should the law balance the employer’s “freedom of religion” with the employees’ entitlement to protection from discrimination on the basis of ‘family status’? 




One Response to Marriage as a Condition of Employment?

  1. Evan Reply

    July 1, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I believe Marriage and work as a two different factors. No one should bring the religion in the place of work and I think that will be a main root for success of any company.

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