Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits religious discrimination and harassment, including requiring employees to accept their employer’s religious beliefs and practices as a condition of employment.
“These former employees were asked to start each day with a discussion of Bible principles and how those principles applied to their work and personal lives. It is not an activity that an employer can mandate, according to the announcement of the judgment of the EEOC.
Notably, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that certain positions in religious organizations are exempt from the scope of discrimination laws because the First Amendment protects the right of religious institutions “to decide for themselves. , without state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine.
This unique and limited exception is known as the “ministerial exemption” and was reaffirmed in two court cases in 2020.
All other organizations that employ 15 or more employees must provide a workplace free from discrimination or religious harassment and must also provide reasonable accommodation for an employee’s sincere religious beliefs, unless this creates undue hardship.
Earlier this year, the EEOC updated its Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination, reinforcing that the term “religion” is a broad term and not necessarily limited to certain traditional religions, “but also religious beliefs that are new. , rare, not belonging to a church or sect, to which only a small number of people join, or who seem illogical or unreasonable to others.