The OFCCP published the “Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption” final rule in the Federal Register on December 9, 2020.  The final rule is a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771, provides clarity on the religious exemption in Executive Order 11246, and ensures that religious organizations can participate in federal procurement.  The final rule is effective on January 8, 2021.

Several key provisions of the final rule include:

  • The final rule does not change the equal employment opportunity obligations under Executive Order 11246 for the vast majority of federal contractors.
  • The final rule amends 41 CFR 60-1.3 and clarifies the Executive Order 11246 religious exemption parameters by adding definitions of key terms.
  • The final rule adds a rule of construction in 41 CFR 60-1.5 to provide the maximum legal protection of religious exercise permitted by the Constitution and laws, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • The final rule also adds several illustrative examples within the definition of “Religious Corporation, association, educational institution, or society” to better illustrate which organizations may qualify for the religious exemption.

The OFCCP has created a page with answers to frequently asked questions as part of the agency’s commitment to provide meaningful compliance assistance to help federal contractors, workers and other stakeholders better understand the final rule which can be seen here:

You can read the final rule here: