Attorneys: Proposed rule a godsend for faith-based employers

Thursday, August 15, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

man signing documentThe U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a rule clarifying civil rights protections for religious organizations that contract with the government.

"We're very encouraged by the Department of Labor's rule because there are a lot of organizations out there that contract with the federal government that hold sincerely held religious beliefs," says attorney Mike Berry of First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty law firm.

"The right of those organizations to be able to make employment decisions based on their religious beliefs is something that is enshrined in our Constitution."

"All Americans have the freedom to operate according to their religious beliefs, and those freedoms don't disappear when a university, charity, or international nongovernmental organization enters into a contract with the federal government. The Trump administration is right to consider adopting a rule that would clarify the ability of these organizations to operate based on their religious beliefs, maintain partnerships with the government, and serve the common good all at once.

"We live in a diverse society, and there's no reason or constitutional basis to single out and marginalize certain views. For example, eliminating faith-based nonprofits means that fewer foster children will find a forever home, fewer impoverished citizens will benefit from shelter and job training, and fewer people will receive compassionate assistance. It also leaves overtaxed communities without the vital services they provide.

"Clarifying these freedoms would protect social service providers and everyone else who benefits from their work, so we commend the Department of Labor for this proposed rule."

Greg Baylor, attorney
Alliance Defending Freedom

Berry notes that the Obama administration took a very narrow and restrictive view of religious liberty when it came to employment decisions and practices by contractors.

Berry

"So we applaud the Trump administration for protecting religious liberty and for ensuring that those who do business with the federal government don't lose their constitutional rights just because they have a contract with the government," the attorney concludes.

The proposed rule is currently available for public inspection and is being published today in the Federal Register. Meanwhile, a public comment period on the proposed rule runs through September 16, 2019.

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