“Partnering With Integrity” What Faith-Based Organizations, Community Groups, and Workforce System Leaders Must Know About U.S. Department of Labor Equal Treatment and Religion-Related Regulations U.S. Department of Labor
What are the goals of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI)? • To expand opportunities for faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) to meet the social needs of Americans • To ensure the equal treatment of FBCOs in the administration and distribution of Federal financial assistance • To protect the religious liberty of FBCOs that partner with the Federal government and of participants in Federally supported social service programs
Changes to USDOL regulations andsub-regulatory policies Goals of reforms undertaken by U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL): • Removing barriers to FBCO participation in USDOL social service programs • Protecting the religious liberty of: (1) FBCOs that receive Federal financial assistance (2) participants in programs operated by these FBCOs Regulatory changes were published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2004
Where can I find the relevant changes? • New equal treatment regulations (29 CFR Part 2, Subpart D) • Workforce Investment Act (WIA) nondiscrimination and programmatic regulations (29 CFR 37.6(f); 20 CFR 667.266 and 667.275) • Job Corps regulations (20 CFR 670.555) • Job Corps Policy and Requirements Handbook (PRH)—Sections 6.8 (Civil and Legal Rights), 2.2, 3.17, 5.4 and 6.9
The USDOL equal treatment regulations • Apply to all providers that implement USDOL supported social service programs, including: • For-profit and non-profit organizations, including FBCOs • State and local governments • One-Stop system • Job Corps Center operators & contractors • Govern the administration and distribution of USDOL support
The USDOL equal treatment regulations • Apply equally to: • USDOL support • State funds commingled with Federal funds • Funds the State is required to contribute under a matching or grant agreement • Embody core principles of the FBCI at USDOL
Core Principles of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative at USDOL I. Equal Opportunity for All Organizations II. Respect for the Faith of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) III. Respect for the Religious Liberty of Beneficiaries IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support
I. Equal Opportunity for All Organizations In the administration of USDOL social service programs: • No organization may be discriminated for or against on the basis of religious character or affiliation • No eligible organization may be denied the opportunity to compete for or receive USDOL and other Federal financial assistance based uponthe organization’s religious character or affiliation
I. Equal Opportunity for All Organizations • Federal, State, or other mechanisms through which Federal support is provided to organizations (for example, a mechanism giving out vouchers for job training) must, by law, be neutral with respect to religion • Example: The entity selecting organizations to be placed on a list of eligible training providers under WIA must neither favor nor disfavor an organization based on religion.
II. Respect the Faith of Faith-Based Organizations Faith-based organizations that receive USDOL support may: • continue to carry out their religious activities • keep religious signs or symbols in their facilities • continue to select their board members (including members of the clergy) and otherwise govern themselves on a religious basis • offer voluntary religious activities to program participants—keep in mind that no “direct” Federal support can be used for religious activities and these activities must be separate in time or location from Federally supported activities and voluntary for program participants
III. Respect for the Religious Liberty of Beneficiaries Prospective or active program participants: • Must not be treated differently because of their religion or religious beliefs (or lack thereof) • Must be permitted to freely express their views and exercise their right to religious freedom • Must be provided with reasonable accommodation for their religious beliefs in programs; ‘reasonableness’ is determined on a case-by-case-basis, with regard to the particular circumstances involved • Must be informed that participation in inherently religious activities is voluntary, and that their choice whether or not to participate will not affect the quality of the service they receive
IV. Appropriate Use of FederalSupport What is USDOL “support”? • Defined in 29 CFR 2.31(g) as “Federal financial assistance, as well as procurement funding, provided to a non-Federal organization to support the organization’s administration of or participation in a USDOL social service program.” • Includes grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other arrangements • Includes monetary and non-monetary assistance (e.g., in-kind contributions, frequent use of Federally-supported property, etc.)
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support Determined by the type of Federal support and how the support relates to “inherently religious activities” What are examples of “inherently religious activities”? • Religious worship • Religious instruction • Religious proselytizing
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support Federal support is considered “indirect” when: • Beneficiaries are given genuine, independent choices about where to direct the aid, including having at least one option to which the beneficiary has no religious objection • Beneficiaries freely choose where to direct the aid
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support So long as the tests for “indirect” support listed on the previous slide are satisfied, the following mechanisms can be considered “indirect” support: • Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) • Personal Reemployment Accounts (PRAs)
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support Federal support is considered “direct” unless it satisfies the tests for “indirect” support (see slide 15) Some examples of “direct” Federal support include: • Grants • Sub-awards • Contracts • Cooperative agreements • USDOL formula grant funds
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support There are different rules that apply to how FBCOs may use “direct” and “indirect” support • What rules apply when Federal support is “direct”? • What rules apply when Federal support is “indirect”?
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support When FBCOs receive “direct” support, the following rules apply: (1) “Direct” support must not be used for inherently religious activities (2) Organizations may still engage in inherently religious activities, but these activities must be kept separate in time or location from Federally-supported services (3) All inherently religious activities must be voluntary for program participants and beneficiaries
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support When FBCOs receive “indirect” support, the following rules apply: (1) Inherently religious activities can be made an integrated part of the regular training program. Participation by the customer in these religious activities is considered voluntary because it is the customer who has freely chosen to participate in the training program (2) As a result, customers can be required to participate fully in the training program, including any inherently religious activities
IV. Appropriate Use of FederalSupport State and local areas develop standards and procedures by which organizations may qualify as Eligible Training Providers (ETPs). FBCOs that apply and that meet all requirements are placed on the ETP list. Eligible Training Providers that receive “indirect” USDOL support through an Individual Training Account (ITA), Personal Reemployment Account (PRA), or similar mechanism may: (1) make inherently religious activities an integrated part of their regular training program (2) require customers to participate fully in their program, including any inherently religious activities
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support Assuming the tests for “indirect” support are satisfied, One-Stop customers may use Individual Training Accounts (ITAs), Personal Reemployment Accounts (PRAs), or similar mechanisms to purchase training that (1) contains inherently religious activities and/or (2) leads to employment in a religious vocation.
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support • To become an Eligible Training Provider, an organization must submit an application to the Local Workforce Investment Board, following local procedures and deadlines • The applicable local procedures generally require a description of each training program and, for established programs, information on past performance and cost • To promote genuine choice, program descriptions should briefly identify any religious elements
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support Among the provisions of Section 188 of WIA that apply to all recipients (including FBCOs) is a prohibition on employment decisions based on religion for positions that administer, or are connected with, programs and activities that receive WIA financial assistance Section 188 doesnot apply to employment decisions made (1) before an organization first received financial assistance under WIA, or (2) for programs and activities that do not receive WIA financial assistance
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support The rules that apply to Federal contractors are different from those that apply to recipients of Federal financial assistance Federal contractors are entities that enter into agreements with the Federal Government for the purchase, sale, or use of real or personal property or non-personal services (they are not grantees)
IV. Appropriate Use of Federal Support Nondiscrimination requirements that apply to Federal contractors are in Executive Order (EO) 11246. Additional nondiscrimination requirements that apply to Job Corps contractors can be found in 29 CFR Part 37 The President amended EO 11246 in December 2002 to permit covered Federal contractors (not grantees) to make employment decisions based on religion USDOL published new rules in the Federal Register implementing this change on September 30, 2003
Religion-Related Requirements forJob Corps Job Corps Centers must take steps to protect the religious liberty of students Job Corps Centers must not favor an organization for, or exclude an organization from, community outreach, student recruitment and mentoring, community service, and post-Job Corps employment activities on the basis of religious character or affiliation Job Corps Centers must not discriminate for or against students on the basis of religion or religious belief FBCOs that partner with Job Corps must be permitted to remain independent FBCOs partnering with Job Corps must not refuse to serve students on account of religion
Religion-Related Requirements forJob Corps The Job Corps Policy and Requirements Handbook (PRH) outlines steps Job Corps Centers must take to protect the religious liberty of Job Corps students: • Job Corps Centers must not discriminate for or against students on the basis of religion or religious belief • Job Corps Centers must inform students about their religious rights • Job Corps Centers must permit voluntary religious activities, including religious services, to occur atJob Corps Centers (services do not have to be “nondenominational” as under the prior regulation) (continued on next slide…)
Religion-Related Requirements forJob Corps Job Corps requirements continued… • Job Corps Centers may continue to transport students to local religious facilities • Job Corps Centers must accommodate student religious practices subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions • Special rule: Where there is such government control over the program environment that student religious exercise would otherwise be significantly burdened, Job Corps Centers may use “direct” Federal support to facilitate student-requested religious activities
Frequently Asked Questions for FBCOs and the WIA System
Q: How does an organization separate its religious activities from its Federally-supported social service program? A: Organizations that receive “direct” support must: (1) separate “inherently religious activities” in time or location from government-funded services (2) carefully account for their use of all government support, and ensure that Federal support is not used for inherently religious activities (3) ensure that all “inherently religious activities” are voluntary for program participants
Q: Can people who receive Federally-supported services from a provider also participate in that organization’s religious activities? A: Yes, provided that a few rules are followed: (1) providers that receive “direct” Federal support must not require program participants to take part in any religious activities (2) employees or volunteers should reassure the participants that they can receive Federally-supported services even if they do not participate in these activities
Q: Can employees or volunteers of a faith-based provider receiving “direct” Federal support invite program participants to join in religious services or events? A: Yes, provided that: (1) announcements of or invitations to religious services or events are handled in a similar fashion to announcements or invitations for non-religious events (2) the religious activities are separate in time or location from the Federally-supported activities (3) the employees or volunteers make clear that participation is completely voluntary and won’t affect the services the participant receives
Q: If a program participant at an FBCO asks about the faith of an employee or volunteer, may the employee or volunteer discuss his/her faith with the participant? A: If a participant asks a program employee/volunteer about his/her personal faith while he/she is providing a Federally-supported service, the employee/volunteer may give a short answer. If the program participant wishes to have a longer conversation on matters of faith, the employee/volunteer should set up a time outside the context of the Federally-supported program to speak with the participant.
Q: Can an FBCO use “direct” Federal support to purchase religious materials? A: No. Faith-based and community organizations may not use Federal support to purchase religious materials, such as the Bible, Torah, Koran, Talmud, or other religious or scriptural materials. Federal support also cannot be used to purchase materials intended for inherently religious activities.
Q: Can a faith-based organization use “direct” Federal support to pay the salary of a member of its staff? A: Yes, provided that this staff person is delivering the Federally-supported service and is not engaged in inherently religious activities, such as religious worship, instruction, and proselytizing, while working to provide the Federally-supported service. The staff member may be a rabbi, priest, imam, or preacher, for example, so long as he or she does not engage in these activities while being paid with public dollars.
Q: If an FBCO receives “direct” or “indirect” Federal support, may it choose not to provide services to some people because of their religion? A: No. If a faith-based or community group receives Federal financial assistance, whether “direct” or “indirect,” it may not discriminate, based on religion or religious belief, against a person who is eligible for the service.
Q: Are Individual Training Accounts (ITA) and Personal Reemployment Accounts (PRA) examples of “indirect” support? A: ITAs and PRAs, like vouchers, may be considered “indirect” support so long as the tests for “indirect” support are satisfied (also see slide 14).
Q: If a faith-based group previously allowed to hire on a religious basis becomes a recipient of WIA financial assistance, will the organization have legal problems related to its previous hiring decisions ? A: No. The law does not apply retroactively. The WIA nondiscrimination provisions will apply only to the activities in which a faith-based organization engages after it becomes a recipient under WIA, and only to jobs that administer or are connected with the programs and activities that receive the Federal financial assistance.
Legal Guidance for FBCOs and the WIA System White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives www.whitehouse.gov/government/fbci/guidance/index.html USDOL Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives www.dol.gov/cfbci/legalguidance.htm Job Corps PRH Website jobcorps.doleta.gov/docs/prh.pdf
Legal Guidance for the WIA System White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives www.whitehouse.gov/government/fbci/guidance/index.html USDOL Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives www.dol.gov/cfbci/legalguidance.htm USDOL Civil Rights Center www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/crcwelcome.htm Job Corps PRH Website jobcorps.doleta.gov/docs/prh.pdf
How to contact me • Postal Mail: • Denise Sudell, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210 • Telephone: • 202-693-6554 (voice) • 800-877-8339 (Federal Information Relay Service • for TTY/TDD) • E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org