Earlier this month NPR ran a story on the growing number of Religious “Nones” (persons who do not identify with any religion) and the political implications of the growth of that group. NPR reported in the story that this group is growing rapidly. Religious “nones” include atheists, agnostics and people who report they just don’t belong to any religion in particular. From 2007 to 2014 the adult population of “nones” increased by over 50%. Of those born from 1928 to 1945, 11% are “nones.” Of those born from 1946 to 1964 (baby boomers), it is 17%. 23% of those born from 1965 to 1980 (Gen. Xers) are “nones.” 34% of Old Millennials (born 1981 to 1989) and 36% of New Millennials (born 1990 to 1996) are “nones.” From an employment lawyer’s perspective, it will be interesting to see the impact of this trend on employment claims. As more and more “nones” take on management and decision making roles in organizations, will they be more or less tolerant of employees’ and applicants’ religious practices? Will there be an increase or decrease in religious discrimination claims by employees who practice a particular religion. As their numbers grow will there be an increase in religious discrimination claims by “nones” who say they are being discriminated against for being atheist or agnostic? What about the impact of the growth of this group on equal employment opportunity in general? Looks like we may be finding out sooner rather than later.
The NPR story is linked here.