On July 22, 2008, the EEOC issued a new Compliance Manual section regarding religious discrimination and a companion question and answer fact sheet and best practices booklet. The guidance does not affect the EEOC's regulations on religious discrimination (29 C.F.R. § 1605) or change EEOC policy but simply updates and explains the EEOC's interpretation of the law of religious discrimination under Title VII.
From 1992 to 2007, the number of EEOC charges alleging religious discrimination doubled, and the EEOC reports that religious discrimination litigation and inquiries from EEOC staff, employers, and the media about religious discrimination issues also increased. Topics covered in the guidance include the meaning of "religion" under Title VII, exceptions, disparate treatment, harassment, reasonable accommodation, retaliation, and employer best practices. The guidance is available online at www.eeoc.gov.