"In response to an increase in charges of religious discrimination, increased religious diversity in the United States, and requests for guidance from stakeholders and agency personnel investigating and litigating claims of religious discrimination," the Equal Employment Opportunity Co mmission (EEOC) issued a new Compliance Manual section addressing religious discrimination in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act on July 22, 2008.
The compliance manual revision does not represent a new view regarding religious discrimination issues, but is intended to update and consolidate “into one comprehensive document” Title VII case law and EEOC’s views regarding religious discrimination issues. The revised section covers five major legal topics: coverage issues, disparate treatment, harassment, reasonable accommodation, and related forms of discrimination. It attempts to address fundamental issues including the definition of religion and when an employer may inquire into the employee’s religious beliefs. In the past 15 years, religious discrimination charges filed with EEOC have doubled. The revisions provide much needed clarification.