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S.3686 - A bill to amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to establish provisions with respect to religious accommodations in employment, and for other purposes.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(B) expressly intended to establish that religion is a class protected from discrimination in employment, as race, color, sex, and national origin are protected classes; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) recognized that, absent undue hardship, a covered employer’s failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practice is discrimination within the meaning of that title.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) In Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U.S. 63 (1977), the Supreme Court held that an employer could deny an employee’s request for religious accommodation based on any burden greater than a de minimis burden on the employer, and thus narrowed the scope of protection of title VII against religious discrimination in employment, contrary to the intent of Congress.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) As a consequence of the Hardison decision and resulting appellate and trial court decisions, discrimination against employees on the basis of religion in employment continues to be an unfortunate and unacceptable reality.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) Federal, State, and local government, and private employers have a history and have established a continuing pattern of discrimination in unreasonably denying religious accommodations in employment, including in the areas of garb, grooming, and scheduling.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Although this Act addresses requests for accommodation with respect to garb, grooming, and scheduling due to employees’ religious practices, enactment of this Act does not represent a determination that other religious accommodation requests do not deserve similar attention or future resolution by Congress.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) The Supreme Court has held in Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, 427 U.S. 445 (1976) that Congress has clearly authorized Federal courts to award monetary damages in favor of a private individual against a State government found in violation of title VII, and this holding is supported by Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332 (1979).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. PURPOSES.
(1) to address the history and widespread pattern of discrimination by private sector employers and Federal, State, and local government employers in unreasonably denying religious accommodations in employment, specifically in the areas of garb, grooming, and scheduling;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) to provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of religion, including that denial of accommodations, specifically in the areas of garb, grooming, and scheduling;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) to invoke congressional powers to prohibit employment discrimination, including the powers to enforce the 14th amendment, and to regulate interstate commerce pursuant to section 8 of article I of the Constitution, in order to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, including unreasonable denial of religious accommodations, specifically in the areas of garb, grooming, and scheduling.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. AMENDMENTS.
(2) in paragraph (1), as so designated, by striking ‘he is unable’ and inserting ‘the employer is unable, after initiating and engaging in an affirmative and bona fide effort,’; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), with respect to the practice of wearing religious clothing or a religious hairstyle, or of taking time off for a religious reason, an accommodation of such a religious practice--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) shall not be considered to be a reasonable accommodation unless the accommodation removes the conflict between employment requirements and the religious practice of the employee;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(B) shall be considered to impose an undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business only if the accommodation imposes a significant difficulty or expense on the conduct of the employer’s business when considered in light of relevant factors set forth in section 101(10)(B) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (
42 U.S.C. 12111(10)(B)) (including accompanying regulations); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(iv) adopting the presence, absence, or style of a person’s hair or beard the adoption of which is part of the observance of the religious faith practiced by the individual.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICATION OF AMENDMENTS; SEVERABILITY.
(c) No Diminution of Rights- With respect to religious practices not described in section 701(j)(2) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by section 4(a)(3), nothing in this Act or an amendment made by this Act shall be construed to diminish any right that may exist, or remedy that may be available, on the day before the date of enactment of this Act, for discrimination in employment because of religion by reason of failure to provide a reasonable accommodation of a religious practice, pursuant to title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (
(1) IN GENERAL- If any provision of an amendment made by this Act, or any application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of the amendments made by this Act and the application of the provision to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) DEFINITION OF RELIGION- If, in the course of determining a claim brought under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (