Discrimination in Name of Religion

You Can’t Work Here: Employers Using Religion to Discriminate

The ability to earn a living and support our families is a fundamental part of the American dream. But religious extremists want to be able to fire, or refuse to hire, people who can’t pass a religious test.

In 2020, the Supreme Court affirmed that federal laws protect LGBTQ people from discrimination at work. But this is threatened by potential religious exemptions to that protection; the Court left undecided whether employers can cite their religious beliefs to discriminate against or fire workers. And days later, the court unfortunately held that religious schools can deny civil rights protections to workers even if they have minimal religious duties.

Americans United is fighting to ensure that religious freedom is not misused to justify discrimination in the workplace, especially for government-funded jobs.

What you need to know

Government Money, Fair Hiring

Religious organizations have the right to employ people of the same faith, but if they partner with the government to deliver services, they can’t discriminate in hiring. No one should be disqualified for a job because they are the “wrong” religion, don’t regularly attend religious services, are married to someone of the same sex, undergo a gender transition, get divorced, use birth control, or are pregnant and unmarried.

Biden Rolls Back Trump Rule

President Biden’s Department of Labor has proposed rolling back a Trump rule that allowed federal contractors—who employ as much as one-fifth of the American workforce—to fire or refuse to hire workers for taxpayer-funded jobs who don’t pass a religious test.

Math Teachers Aren’t Ministers

Religious extremists are trying to exploit a legal doctrine known as the ministerial exception to classify all employees of religious schools and organizations as “ministers” so they lose civil rights protections at work. AU is representing several people who were unjustly fired by religious schools that have misused this exception.

BREAKING:

AU calls out leaked supreme court opinion overturning abortion rights as a religious extremist assault on our democracy

"The end of Roe is just the beginning. Next on the hit list are a broad array of protections for personal liberty."—Rachel Laser, AU's CEO and President

Read our statement here