EEOC Issues New Compliance Manual Section on Religious Discrimination, Offering Guidance on Ways to Prevent, Recognize and Eliminate Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

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On July 22, 2008, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a new Compliance Manual Section regarding workplace discrimination on the basis of religion. This new Section includes what the EEOC calls a “comprehensive review of the relevant provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the EEOC’s policies regarding religious discrimination, harassment and accommodation.” The EEOC also issued guidelines on best practices for both employers and employees, and a question and answer fact sheet.

Religious discrimination charge filings with the EEOC have doubled over the last 15 years. The EEOC issued these new guidelines in response to this increase in charges, as well as increased religious diversity, and in response to requests from employers and agency personnel who investigate and litigate claims of religious discrimination. This new information is a valuable primer for employees and employers alike, who are looking for a better understanding of workplace religious discrimination.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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