Department of Labor Issues Directive to Protect Religious Freedom

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released a new policy directive calling for protections on religious freedom. The directive, which is meant to provide guidance to OFCCP staff and federal contractors on enforcement and compliance policies and procedures, references recent legal developments such as White House Executive Orders and the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision in the Supreme Court.

The directive states that, “OFCCP staff should bear in mind that:


  • They cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices and must proceed in a manner neutral toward and tolerant of religious beliefs.
  • They cannot condition the availability of opportunities upon a recipient's willingness to surrender his or her religiously impelled status.
  • A federal regulation's restriction on the activities of a for-profit closely held corporation must comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • They must permit faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for federal contracts.
  • They must respect the right of religious people and institutions to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.”


Read the full directive from the U.S. Department of Labor here.

Source: Federal Contract Compliance Programs DIR 2018-03; August 10, 2018

This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.


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