The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) continued its clarity tour last week, publishing a final rule in the Federal Register regarding Executive Order 11246 and its religious exemption. The final rule explains the types of contractors that qualify for religious exemption and elucidates the latitude of such contractors to make employment-related decisions based on religion. The OFCCP maintains that its goal was to acknowledge case law permitting religious organizations to apply religious belief defenses to claims of alleged unlawful employment discrimination, but opponents believe the final rule impermissibly protects the free exercise of religion above protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community.
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