Is It Legal To Require A Statement of Faith from Employees?
Religious liberties in the business world have become a prominent topic in the last few years thanks to Hobby Lobby and their bold stand to protect their faith-based business methods. However, one business practice seen in many companies run by those with a religious preference has come under scrutiny. The required signing of a “statement of faith” has been a long-held practice by many companies and other organizations to ensure that their employees and staff members are all on the same religious page.
This practice is now being challenged in many instances, however, as it violates the federal law requiring that employers not discriminate when hiring an individual based on their religious views. To only hire individuals who share your particular religious views is to discriminate against those individuals who do not. So who can require a statement of faith?
There are organizations that can require a statement of faith, but these organizations or businesses must be able to prove that they are essentially a religious organization. The federal government has in place a system of determining this as well. Your business must be religious in its purpose and character.
How do you determine if your business is religious in its purpose and character though? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers these following questions as a good guideline to help business owners determine whether or not they are a religious organization and therefore entitled to require a statement of faith from employees.
Do your articles of incorporation state a religious purpose?
Are your day-to-day operations religious?
Is it not-for-profit?
Is it affiliated with or supported by a church or other religious organization?
These questions can help business owners determine whether or not they are, indeed, running a religious organization and if it is legal to require their employees to sign a statement of faith as part of the hiring process. If business owners are concerned over this matter, they can contact an attorney for advice and more information.