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ABA urges withdrawal of proposed rule that would expand religious exemption for federal contractors

September 19, 2019

The ABA is urging the U.S. Department of Labor to withdraw a proposed rule that would expand the type of federal contractors eligible for an exemption that allows them to discriminate in employment on the basis of religion.

ABA President Judy Perry Martinez said in a Sept. 16 letter that the proposed rule broadens the definition of religious groups entitled to claim the exemption.

Under the expansion, Martinez said, even for-profit corporations and nominally religious entities could claim the exemption, as long as they can point to a religious purpose that is a public part of their mission and demonstrate that they engage in religious exercise to further that purpose.

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