March 3, 2023 • News

OFCCP Announces Return to Longstanding Policy on Religious Exemption for Federal Contractors

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has returned to a longstanding policy on religious exemption for federal contractors with the rescission of the final rule published in 2020. Effective March 1, 2023, the agency will return to its prior approach of determining the applicability of the religious exemption in Executive Order 11246 (equal employment opportunity for federal contractors’ workers) with established case law as applied to the facts and circumstances of each case. The religious exemption permits federal contractors that are qualifying religious organizations to hire individuals of a particular religion; the 2020 final rule (“Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption”) had broadened the exemption to include employers merely presenting themselves to the public as carrying out a religious purpose. 

For more information, see the OFCCP landing page as well as the rescission notice.