Federal Agencies Grilled On ‘Faith-Based’ Job Bias

A coalition of religious and public policy organizations is asking federal agencies to explain how they handle issues of religious bias in hiring when allocating taxpayer funds to “faith-based” programs.

The Coalition Against Religious Discrimination (CARD) sent letters on Dec. 7 to several federal departments and agencies, including Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Education and Homeland Security, requesting information on policies related to hiring discrimination.

CARD, which is made up of more than 50 organizations and chaired by Americans United, asked questions such as:

• Is there a process for a person who suspects federally funded religious discrimination is taking place to report a potential violation?

• What is the process for how the agency begins the… review of an organization that seeks to discriminate on the basis of religion with federal funds? and

• What offices and components of the agency are involved in the… analysis and what are their roles in the review?

CARD also noted that President Barack Obama promised while campaigning in 2008 to end hiring bias in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs, but since taking office his administration has said that the issue is being examined on a case-by-case basis.