December 10, 2021
On December 9, 2021, EPPC scholars Roger Severino and Rachel N. Morrison submitted a public comment opposing a proposal by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to rescind various protections for faith-based contractors that allow them to partner with the federal government and serve the American people without having to abandon tenets of their faith or their religious identity.
Despite broad protections for faith-based contractors in law, the Proposal would limit which contractors can qualify for religious exemption and would prohibit faith-based contractors from making employment decisions based on sincere religious beliefs and tenets.
The comment points out that OFCCP’s Proposal contradicts religious freedom protections under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Title VII, and existing executive orders applicable to federal contractors.
“The Biden Administration’s war on religion continues with this attempt to ban entire classes of religious non-profits from partnering with the government to serve the homeless, the sick, and the needy,” said EPPC Senior Fellow Roger Severino. “People are the life blood of any organization, and if faith-based organization cannot hire people who respect their religious tenets, they will cease to be faith-based organizations.”
“When the federal government refuses to recognize the robust protections for faith-based contractors in the law, everyone loses—faith-based organizations, the federal government, and the American people. OFCCP’s Proposal would sweep away the harmonious live and let live approach that has both respected the law of religious freedom and served our pluralistic nation well,” said EPPC Policy Analyst Rachel N. Morrison.
The comment urges OFCCP to fully recognize religious protections for faith-based contractors and retain the language clarifying those protections.
Other groups submitting comments opposed to the Biden Administration Proposal include:
· Christian Employers Alliance
· National Religious Broadcasters
· Thomas More Society, National Association of Evangelicals, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, and Christian Legal Society
· United States Conference of Catholic Bishops