A large entity that I do a lot of work with has a Diversity office, which sent out the following message for the employees:
The Diversity office has received calls and inquiries about holiday decorations and practices that cause some employees to feel isolated and excluded. Often employees are reluctant to raise concerns because they know others enjoy the decorations and festivities. While it's impossible for the Diversity office to prescribe a list of appropriate holiday decorations or practices, please plan holiday events and displays in common work areas with the knowledge that not everyone shares and observes the same holiday traditions.
Make choices that do not reflect a single way of commemorating a holiday; broaden displays to include other holidays that others may observe or choose themes that reflect a seasonal motif rather than a religious one.
Plan office parties, receptions, or open houses using terms that include, rather than exclude, such as inviting employees to celebrate the holiday season, the winter break, and a season of lights or peace.
Organization-related observances should welcome all employees to share in the spirit of the winter season - a time for joy and celebration. Take the time to reflect on and gain knowledge of the diverse cultures within the Organization.
I have a question, aimed particularly but not exclusively at the left wing of our readership: If you take the religious sources of festivity away from December, and are left with the "spirit of winter", isn't that spirit (a) cold, (b) dark, (c) slim food pickings, (d) colds and other illness, and (e) extra work (cutting fire wood, shoveling driveway and scraping ice off windshield)? Don't they even realize that the "spirit of December" that we are used to is completely rooted in religious holy days?
And my general question is: is the above message in violation of employment laws, for example because by it the employer informs his employees who wish to take note of a religious theme to the holidays that their perspective is not welcome, while he welcomes other themes? Does it matter who the employer is?