EEOC Issues New Guidance on Discrimination Based on Religion

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its Compliance Manual's section on discrimination based on religion. View it here. This chapter covers the following, according to the EEOC:

I - Coverage issues, including the definition of “religion” and “sincerely held,” the religious organization exception, and the ministerial exception.
II - Disparate treatment analysis of employment decisions based on religion, including recruitment, hiring, promotion, discipline, and compensation, as well as differential treatment with respect to religious expression; customer preference; security requirements; and bona fide occupational qualifications.
III - Harassment analysis, including religious belief or practice as a condition of employment or advancement, hostile work environment, and employer liability issues.
IV - Reasonable accommodation analysis, including notice of the conflict between religion and work, scope of the accommodation requirement and undue hardship defense, and common methods of accommodation.
V - Related forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on national origin, race, or color, as well as retaliation.

This revision gives employers and their lawyers a good opportunity to refresh their understanding of what "religion" means under Title VII and employers' obligations not only to "reasonably accommodate" religious practices, but also to refrain from discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on religion.