As new federal regulations reportedly are imminent that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraceptives, two Trump administration attorneys who fought for employers to be able to cite religious beliefs as justification to deny women access to vital health care have been in the news recently.
Aimee Stephens worked for six years at a Detroit funeral home. Then, she came out as transgender and announced that she would begin to live publicly as a woman, which would include dressing consistent with her gender identity.
Two weeks later, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes fired her. Why? The funeral-home owner said Aimee’s behavior contradicted his religious beliefs.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State was joined by 76 faith leaders and 13 religious and civil-rights organizations in urging a federal appeals court to rule that a Michigan funeral home had violated a transgender employee’s civil rights when it fired her for wearing women’s clothing in accordance with her gender identity.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 was intended to protect the fundamental American value of religious freedom.
In the more than two decades since RFRA’s passage, however, the law has too frequently been misused and misinterpreted as a sword to harm others, rather than as a shield to protect religious liberty. In particular, some ne’er-do-wells have tried to manipulate RFRA into a tool that allows them ignore non-discrimination laws.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 that a Muslim woman who was denied a job at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch because she wears a headscarf has the right to sue the company.
The high court reinstated a lawsuit claiming that Abercrombie violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it declined to hire Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim who wears a headscarf for religious reasons. The company’s decision was based on its “look policy,” which prohibits employees from wearing hats and other head coverings.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the freedom of religion by allowing a lawsuit challenging retailer Abercrombie & Fitch’s company policy that banned religious headgear for employees, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that the Phillipsburg , N.J., school district wrongly fired a public school teacher for distributing Bibles to students.
Walt Tutka lodged a religious discrimination complaint with the EEOC’s Newark Area Office after the Phillipsburg School District terminated his contract. In his complaint, Tutka argued that district officials had violated his religious freedom rights by refusing to allow him to distribute the Bible.