In the aftermath of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage, legislation that protects individuals who oppose these civil unions is being pushed by Republicans. A recent Huffington Post article reports that the law is known as the First Amendment Defense Act and it protects against discrimination by the government for acting on religious beliefs. Critics of the bill say the language is too broad and will allow employers to discriminate against women who get pregnant outside of wedlock.
If you or someone you know believes they may have been discriminated against in the workforce, contact an aggressive New York employment lawyer right away to learn about your rights under the law.
First Amendment Defense Act Explained
The proposed legislation prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory acts against a person for acting on religious belief that favors traditional marriage. Under the First Amendment Defense Act a “person” includes a for-profit and not-for-profit corporation. In other words, the government would not be able to cancel a federal contract or revoke tax-exempt status based on this issue.
Specifically, the proposed law protects individuals who believe marriage is “between one man and one woman” or those who find “sexual relations are reserved to such a marriage”. In a press release on the bill’s introduction, cosponsor Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee noted the bill would only prohibit the IRS from revoking the tax exemption of churches that refuse to officiate same-sex weddings. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), contends the bill would thwart the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to protect women from sex-based discrimination because of the way the bill is written.
In fact, several lawsuits have been filed in the past concerning religious educational institutions that have fired unmarried teachers for getting pregnant. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a ministerial exception to employment discrimination law.
New York Employment Lawyer
Federal and New York state law protect individuals from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The facts of each employment law case are as unique as the individual who has been victimized. If you or someone you know believes they are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, a New York employment lawyer at Ricotta & Marks can clearly and simply explain your rights under the law. Contact (347) 464-8694 for your free, initial case evaluation.