Biden administration proposes rescinding Trump rule expanding religious exemptions

The Biden administration on Monday announced a proposal that seeks to rescind a Trump-era rule that expanded religious exemptions for federal contractors related to anti-discrimination laws.

The rule, which has been in effect since Jan. 8, exempted federal contractors from abiding by anti-discrimination law if they “hold themselves out to the public as carrying out a religious purpose.” Before the expansion was put in place, the exemption was only available for a smaller subset of religious groups, according to Reuters.

The rule, released by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) during the Trump administration, said it was meant to “correct any misperception that religious organizations are disfavored in government contracting by setting forth appropriate protections for their autonomy to hire employees who will further their religious missions,” according to NBC News.

Now, however, the Labor Department is taking steps to rescind the policy, which will revert practices back to the department policy that was in place during former President George W. Bush’s and former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNPR correspondent: ‘Real question’ if NRA continues to exist After a brutal election day, Democrats make a wise turn back to the center Durham’s latest indictment: More lines drawn to Clinton’s campaign MORE‘s administrations.

The Federal Register is set to publish the proposal on Nov. 9, according to a statement from the Labor Department.

Jenny Yang, the director of OFCCP, wrote in a Monday blog post that the department’s proposal will “protect workers from discrimination and safeguard religious freedom by rescinding the unnecessary and problematic” expansion issued under the Trump administration.

The Trump administration enacted the expansion in its waning days in office as a way to ensure that religious organizations were fully taking part in the federal contractor system, Reuters reported.

Opponents of the expansion, however, said it could create an opportunity for more discrimination. LGBT groups, among others, were opposed to the initiative.

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