Oklahoma Religious Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Oklahoma Religious Discrimination: What you need to know

The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits all public and private employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of religion (OK Stat. Tit. 25 Sec. 1101 et seq. and OK Stat. Tit. 25 Sec. 1601). Contractors or subcontractors that provide goods or services to the state are considered employers under the Act.
According to guidelines issued by the state's Human Rights Commission, the term "religious practices" includes moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong, which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. The fact that no religious group espouses the beliefs or that the religious group to which an applicant or employee belongs does not accept the belief does not determine whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee or applicant (OK Admin. Code Sec. 335:15-5-1).
Under the Act, it is a discriminatory practice for an employer to:
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• Fail or refuse to hire, to discharge, or discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation or the terms, conditions, privileges, or responsibilities of employment because of religion, unless on the basis of a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Limit, segregate, or classify employees in a way that would deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as employees, unless on the basis of a BFOQ.
• Discriminate against an individual because of religion in admission to, or employment in, a program established to provide apprenticeship or other training, unless on the basis of a BFOQ.
• Print or publish a notice or advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on religion, unless on ...

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