Monday, March 20, 2017

Religious Freedom, Bias Protections: Something’s Got to Give - BLOOMBERG BNA

by Jay-Anne B. Casuga
Originally published: March 14, 2017

More than half of all states have religious freedom requirements that could allow more employers to seek religious exemptions from state workplace anti-discrimination requirements and other employment laws.

“On the whole, they have been under-used and under-enforced,” Douglas Laycock, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law who specializes in religious liberty law, told Bloomberg BNA. “But the current moral conflict over sexual matters, and the expansion of government regulation, has created the potential for such claims.”

The application of state religious freedom laws in the employment context is uncommon. State laws, many of which are modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, have been invoked more often in business-consumer settings, such as when bakers decline to cater a same-sex wedding ceremony.