Discrimination is not Religious Freedom
“America was founded on the principle of religious freedom – a tradition and ideal that remains central to who we are as a country. This means that the government cannot use our taxpayer dollars to force any of us to live by the tenets and teachings of someone else’s religion.” - Rachel Laser, President and CEO, AU
On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule that would allow government contractors to use any religious litmus test they want to discriminate in employment. The proposed rule broadens an existing religious exemption for federal contractors to allow taxpayer-funded employment discrimination against LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities and other protected classes.
This policy would allow federal contractors to use their own religious beliefs as a key factor in their hiring & firing practices, including firing a woman who uses birth control or is a single parent; firing or denying health benefits to LGBTQ employees; or refusing to interview anyone who doesn’t regularly attend religious services or doesn’t follow the teachings and tenets of the employer.
Previously, religiously affiliated nonprofits were only allowed to give preference to “individuals of a particular religion when making employment decisions relevant to the work connected with its activities.”
Contractors were explicitly prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and the religious exemption could not be used to undermine these protections.
This rule expands the scope of discrimination, while also expanding the exemption from only applying to nonprofit organizations to include for-profit corporations as well. It could even affect federal contractors that provide services such as assistance for refugee and immigrant children, emergency and transitional residential assistance for veterans, and disaster management.
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Associated Press "Trump steadily fulfills goals on religious right wish list"