May 09, 2011

Petrobras Ombuds Discusses Religion in the Workplace

In his latest column, Paul Otto, the Ombudsman for the semi-public Brazilian energy company, responds to a recent email from an employee wishing coworkers a good Easter. Otto observes that benign intent does not make the message appropriate for the workplace. Instead he concludes that religious statements should be discouraged, even when they reflect the majority sentiment.
Brazilian State is secular and Petrobras should, in my point of view, make an effort to impede religious manifestation to be disseminated, at the risk of violating Petrobras' Code of Ethics, under which the respect for differences and diversities of religious nature is established. Also, we must consider that the respect for religious differences does not mean to promote the most prominent religion or to choose one, which is mostly adhered to by the company staff on a specific celebration.

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