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Employment Practices

A faith-based organization receiving funding directly or indirectly does not forfeit its exemption from the federal prohibition on employment discrimination based on religion. This prohibition is set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (See, 28 C.F.R. Part 38.1(f) and 38.2(f)). However, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, Victims of Crime Act, and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, all as amended, contain provisions against religious discrimination in employment.

Despite these nondiscrimination provisions, the Justice Department has concluded that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is reasonably construed, on a case-by-case basis. RFRA requires its funding agencies to permit faith-based organizations to receive DOJ funds and to continue considering religion when hiring staff if it certifies that its religious practice would be substantially burdened if it were unable to do so. (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb). See more about what a faith-based organization must certify. You may also download a sample of a certification.

Please contact OCR with questions about the application of RFRA to the statutes that prohibit discrimination in employment or the certification process.

Programs that Prohibit Discrimination Based on Religion in Employment

Bureau of Justice Assistance

  • Bullet Proof Partnership
  • Byrne Discretionary Grants
  • Byrne Formula Grants
  • Drug Courts
  • Local Law Enforcement Block Grants
  • National White Collar Crime Information Center
  • Project Childsafe
  • Residential Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Regional Information Sharing System
  • Tribal Prison Construction Grants

Bureau of Justice Statistics

  • Criminal Justice Statistics

National Institute of Justice

  • Law Enforcement Family Support
  • Research Evaluation and Demonstration Programs

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

  • All grant programs, including Offender Reentry

Office on Violence Against Women

  • All grant programs

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

  • Discretionary Grants
  • Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws
  • Formula Grants
  • Gangs
  • Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant
  • Local Delinquency Prevention
  • Mentoring
  • Missing and Exploited Children
  • Safe Schools Initiative
  • State Challenge
  • Tribal Youth Program


  • All Office for Victims of Crime programs except the Trafficking Victims Protection Act Services
Date Created: December 30, 2019