Key Point 8-12.03. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers engaged in commerce and having at least 15 employees from discriminating in any employment decision on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, or religion. The Act permits religions organizations to discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of religion if religion is a bona fide occupational qualification.
Title VII, Section 703(e)(1) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this title … it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to hire and employ employees … on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin in those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. …
If an employer otherwise subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can demonstrate that religion is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular position, then the employer may lawfully discriminate on the basis of religion in filling the position.