PRAISE: NEW LABOR RULE PROTECTS RELIGIOUS GOVT CONTRACTORS
The Trump administration has proposed a rule which protects faith-based organizations that contract with the federal government by allowing them to make employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ensures that conscience and religious freedom are given the broadest protection permitted by law. The proposed rule is posted and open for public comment for 30 days.
“Today’s proposed rule helps to ensure the civil rights of religious employers are protected,” said Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella.
“As people of faith with deeply held religious beliefs are making decisions on whether to participate in federal contracting, they deserve clear understanding of their obligations and protections under the law.”
At issue was an amended version of Executive Order 11246, an Obama-era directive that added sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of anti-discrimination rules that disqualified religious organizations from retaining or seeking federal contracts because they did not comply with progressive views on LGBT issues.
“Among other changes, this proposal is intended to make clear that the Executive Order 11246 religious exemption covers not just churches but employers that are organized for a religious purpose, hold themselves out to the public as carrying out a religious purpose, and engage in exercise of religion consistent with, and in furtherance of, a religious purpose,” explained a copy of the proposed rule made available by the Labor Department.
“It is also intended to make clear that religious employers can condition employment on acceptance of or adherence to religious tenets without sanction by the federal government, provided that they do not discriminate based on other protected bases.” (Excerpts from Liberty Counsel and Christian Post.)
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