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Concerns Raised that Calls For “Religious Freedom” Will Increase Discrimination

The federal government has just issued a wide sweeping memo promoting “religious freedom” that many fear will increase discrimination. The memo written by Attorney General Jeff Sessions provides, “[T]o the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, contracting and programming." Observers believe that by citing “religious freedom”, employers and business will discriminate against others, especially those in the LGBTQ community.

However, it is important to note the memo is not law but rather guidance. Thus, if you believe you have faced any type of discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII, such as religious, national origin or sexual discrimination, federal law still protects you. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate in terms of employment based on your sex, race, religion or national origin. If you are denied a job because of your race or religion, or are passed over for a promotion, or fired based on your race, religion, or country of national origin, you may be able to bring a claim for employment discrimination. While the new memo may reflect a policy that allows “religious freedom”, employment discrimination still remains illegal under federal law.

As Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers, we will fight to protect those who face any form of work place harassment of discrimination. For more information, please contact our Georgia anti-discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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