Do employers who are devout Catholics treat their employees differently than agnostic employers?

Do they? Should they?

I really just want to compare the instance of the devout Catholic who is an employer to the case of an employer who is completely law-abiding yet has no religious interest, belief or practice.

Thank you. Please help.

I work for an ex-Mormon who is agnostic. He has great respect for my religious beliefs and treats me very well. When I explained that I needed Weds. nights off for RCIA classes he gladly gave that night off to me, no questions asked. When I explained that I couldn’t work Sundays he gladly kept me off the schedule.

My roommate, in contrast, works for an atheist. She tried to explain that she needs Sundays off and her employer refused to give her Sunday off so she could attend Mass. :shrug:

I have two jobs. My first employer is atheist and she treats me wonderfully.

So there you go.

I think whether or not a boss will treat you well has little to do with their religious beliefs. They SHOULD be treating you better if they’re Christian but that’s no guarantee. We are all, after all, sinners and imperfect.

I would say that this is something that varies from place to place and person to person. You could work for a supposedly devout-Christian who treated his employees badly just as well as you could work for an adamant atheist or agnostic who treated his employees well. I don’t think it’s just or reasonable or necessary to ask questions like this, but rather to examine things on a case-by-case basis.


I have no idea of the religious practices of my immediate supervisor and her boss above her. But they did allow me to get off work early on Saturday evenings, and forgo part of my lunch time to make it to Mass on time. It does help that I work hard, get here on time, etc to allow things to be in my favor. If I was in authority over someone who had a religious need, I would do my best to accommodate them without affecting staffing as much as possible.

Perhaps there are some studies in this regard, but I’m not aware of any off-hand. In answer to your question, I think it really depends on the individual. Religious people of any faith can be just as mean and unethical in business as those who are less religious or have no religious belief. Should devout Catholics be morally conscious and practice what they preach? I believe they should, as should devout people of other faiths. In Judaism, for example, there are several Torah commandments relating to business ethics. I also believe, however, that all employers, whether they are devout or not, are obligated to treat their employees with respect and fairness. It’s called common decency.

they should treat their employees with justice, but you would have to gather statistical evidence to make any kind of claim one way or the other.

and also be careful about framing the question in such a way that it implies non-Catholic employers by definition behave worse.

One example, several years ago when DH was a manager at a large company orders came down that 20% of the workforce was being laid off and each manager had to fire a certain number of people. It is still known as black Friday almost 30 years later (and the company went down the tubes eventually anyhow). Each of the 6 managers in his location chose the employees who would be let go, did their best to be caring but professional, made referrals etc. But DH went further and by the time the layoffs were announced had found jobs at other firms for the 6 people he had to fire. That reflects his Catholic faith, but also the business ethic he carried at all times in his work, and into the 3 companies he founded.

Does that mean he was obligated to do that as a Catholic or that a non-Christian employer might not do the same? No.

My first real employer was Jewish and the company closed for all Jewish holidays (it was located in a primarily Jewish neighborhood, and even the public schools closed). However he made it a point to remind every employee they had paid time off for any religious observance, and also closed on Christmas, Easter weekend etc. He did not have to offer those extra days off, but he did because of the value he placed on religious observance in general.

I’ve worked for all sorts of people. Early in college I worked for a very kind, generous, understanding, but rough around the edges Hindu who had respect for everyone.

Later in college I found an industry that I wanted to work in. The woman who gave me a chance in it took me under her wing and taught me so much that she didn’t have to just so that I would be able to eventually move up in the industry. Years later I still consider her my mentor and contact her for help and advice when I need to. She is an atheist, but I only know that because several years after I worked for her, she hired, fell in love with, and then married my brother. Yay for family!!! (So I also call her to say hi and to see how my nieces are doing)

My current boss is a very devout Protestant. I love working for her too. She is very intent on seeing me succeed and moving on to upper management. She is also very generous. When I asked 2 weeks after I was hired if it would be ok if I took a couple of days off because I had already made plans for Thanksgiving she laughed and said “of course, everyone needs to go home on Thanksgiving, we’ll cover for you.” The day I got back from that trip she pulled out a calender and sat me down to discuss when I would be gone for Xmas, and when I could be back so that she could go on her trip. She could have just done what she wanted because of her position and seniority, but she is very fair.

I have had some pretty horrible bosses as well. One was a devout Protestant and was a horrible misogynist. His Catholic assistant was no better. I’ve had some cruel atheist bosses as well. And one Jewish boss who due to his drinking ran the business in to the ground.

Management is a skill. While some people come by it naturally others need education and practice. And of course, some people are never good at it. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Vague question will get you a vague response.

Merry Christmas.

I’ve never worked for a Catholic in my life!

And how has that worked out for you? :slight_smile:

My boss is a Jewish carptenter. :smiley:



I work in a parish; my boss is the pastor.

I’d say Father is pretty devout and treats us well. :thumbsup:


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