SCA to EEOC: Reject Employment Discrimination in the Name of Religion

This week, the Secular Coalition of America (SCA) joined other members and allies of the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination (CARD) in submitting comments opposing the Trump administration’s attempts to, yet again, allow entities receiving taxpayer dollars to use their religion to broadly discriminate.

SCA also independently submitted the following comments  regarding U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed update to the Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination. The full letter can be viewed here.

“The proposed update would expand the list of entities that qualify for the exemption to include for-profit corporations, while at the same time expanding the extent of the exemptions. This unnecessary and harmful expansion would codify, perpetuate, and increase the discrimination of employees under the guise of religious freedom.

The proposed update significantly alters the section declaring who qualifies for the Title VII religious exemption, suggesting the exemption is broad and includes for-profit corporations. This despite being unable to cite a single case in which a court has applied the religious exemption to a for-profit corporation. We are concerned that the proposed update is far too broad and could be interpreted to allow more employers, including those in the private sector, to discriminate in their hiring practices and against their employees.

In conclusion, it is the position of the Secular Coalition for America that the proposed update aims to expand the Title VII religious exemption for employers to the detriment of their employees, and that it should be rejected in its current form. We respectfully encourage the EEOC to work to limit discrimination faced by employees in the public workplace and reject the proposed update.”

The Secular Coalition for America is the nation’s premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. We lobby the U.S. Congress, White House, and federal agencies on issues of concern to our constituency. Our mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States and strengthen the secular character of our government.

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