Yesterday, the Department of Labor published a new rule that would allow federal contractors to discriminate against employees based on “sincerely held religious tenets,” putting minority rights in immediate danger.
The proposed rule would allow religiously affiliated federal contractors to discriminate based on an applicant’s religious affiliation and also on whether the employee’s conduct is consistent with the employer’s religious beliefs. In other words, Chrisitan employers can refuse to hire Jews, Muslims and atheists, but Christian employers can also refuse to hire anyone they deem to be a “bad Christian.” This is codified taxpayer-funded discrimination based on religion.
This is particularly concerning for LGBTQ employees and applicants. Anti-gay employers have a long history of disingenuously arguing that they are not discriminating on the basis of someone’s sexual orientation, but only based on their “lifestyle” choices. Allowing religious employers to deny employment based on an employee’s conduct also opens the door to many other forms of discrimination, such as against single mothers/parents, atheists and those of a minority religion.
Nearly one-quarter of employees in the United States work for an employer that has a contract with the federal government. This proposed rule is a dangerous and unconscionable attack on secular and civil rights. Please join FFRF in denouncing this proposed rule. Click on the red “Take Action!” link below. You will be taken to the regulations.gov comment page. Click on the blue button in the upper right corner that reads “Comment Now!” and fill out the prompt provided. It just takes a minute or two for your voice to be heard.
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I strongly oppose the proposed rule changes to OFCCP policy that would allow federal contractors to discriminate against employees based on religious affiliation and also based on whether the employee’s conduct is consistent with the employer’s religious beliefs. This is unconscionable taxpayer-funded discrimination that will put civil rights for vulnerable populations at risk. The Labor Department instead should adopt rules that will protect employees who have a history of suffering discrimination, rather than legalizing such discrimination.