Biden admin. to rescind Trump-era religious exemptions for federal contractors

The Biden administration has proposed narrowing the religious exemptions to federal discrimination law given to entities that contract with the federal government, which currently allows them to uphold religious convictions in certain hiring decisions. 

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a U.S. Department of Labor division, has proposed rescinding a federal contractor rule adopted under President Donald Trump in 2020.

In the proposed rule change, published in the Federal Register Tuesday, the OFCCP argued that the Trump administration rule was too broad compared to previous administrations and ran afoul of discrimination measures governing federal contractors.

The Trump-era rule came in response to an Obama-era directive that added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected employment classes governing federal contracts. Critics feared the Obama-era rule could put faith-based contractors in jeopardy of losing their contracts if their hiring policies don’t comply with the federal government’s interpretation of LGBT discrimination law. 

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