Note: This is related to the question asked at Mandatory participation in workplace holiday potluck, but the issues are not exactly the same, as in that question the issue was not religion, but just that the OP does not like potlucks.
Is there any case law or legal precedent regarding the right of an employee to decline to attend a "holiday party" at the workplace on religious grounds?
Variations on this question:
- A workplace hosts a "Christmas party". Can a Jewish employee decline to attend on the grounds that he or she does not celebrate Christmas?
- If yes, suppose the same workplace rebrands the celebration as a "Holiday party" and adds a menorah to the decorations. Can the Jewish employee still decline to attend on the grounds that it is still, in essence if not in name, a Christmas party?
- If the employee observes the Jewish dietary laws and therefore cannot eat any of the food at the party, does that make a difference?
- If the answer is that "holiday party" is inclusive by nature and therefore one cannot claim a religious reason not to attend, what about a member of a religion that does not observe a winter holiday at all, like Jehovah's Witnesses or Muslims?