Have I experienced discrimination?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights:
You may file a complaint under the Federal Health Care Provider Conscience Protection Statutes if you believe you have experienced discrimination because you:
Objected to, participated in, or refused to participate in specific medical procedures, including abortion and sterilization, and related training and research activities
Were coerced into performing procedures that are against your religious or moral beliefs
Refused to provide health care items or services for the purpose of causing, or assisting in causing, the death of an individual, such as by assisted suicide or euthanasia
What Are the Specific Requirements of the Federal Health Care Provider Conscience Protection Laws?
Covered entities may not, if it would be contrary to the individual’s or health care entity’s religious beliefs or moral convictions:
require the individual to participate in sterilization or abortion;
require the entity to make its facilities available for sterilization or abortion;
require the entity to provide personnel to participate in sterilization or abortion;
discriminate against any physician or health care personnel in employment or staff privileges because the individual participated in or refused to participate in sterilization or abortion;
discriminate against any physician or health care personnel in employment or staff privileges because the individual participated in or refused to participate in any lawful health service or research activity;
deny admission to or otherwise discriminate against any training program applicant (including applicants for internships or residencies) because of the applicant’s reluctance or willingness to participate in sterilization or abortion; or
discriminate against any individual or institutional health care entity that does not train in the performance of abortions or provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortion.
Covered entities must:
deem accredited any postgraduate physician training program that would be accredited, but for the reliance on an accrediting standard that (regardless of whether such standard provides exceptions or exemptions) requires an entity to perform abortions; or provide training for abortions.
Fact Sheet: Your Rights
HHS Office of Civil Rights
What can I do about the discrimination?
Seek legal counsel
If you have experienced discrimination because of your convictions, a wise approach is to refrain from making any statements or taking actions until you obtain legal counsel.
However, even if you have already taken action and even if the discrimination occurred in the past, you may still be able to seek justice through the legal system.
Each of the legal organizations below has worked with Freedom2Care to defend freedom of faith, conscience and speech. They can help you sort out your best course of action:
Report to HHS
"If you believe that a covered entity discriminated against you (or someone else) on the basis of conscience or religious freedom, coerced you to violate your conscience or religious beliefs, or burdened your free exercise of religion, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
You may file a complaint for yourself, your organization, or for someone else."
-- US. Dept. HHS Conscience and Religious Freedom Division
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Nonprofit legal firms
The non-profit, public interest legal foundations below
typically provide counsel without cost to clients.
How to File an HHS Conscience Complaint
Filing a complaint is a simple, straightforward proposition: You tell your story of what happened--who, what, when, where.
Maybe as a result of conscience or relgious faith issues, you were:
pressured to participate in a conscientiously objectionable action or referral;
denied admission to an educational or training program;
subjected to any other form of discrimination based on your conscience and religious convictions.
Even if your story occurred decades ago, you can still report it, since investigating conscience discrimination cases is not legally constrained by a lapse of time.
No need for legalese, no complicated forms. You can file a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights--online or via mail, fax, or e-mail.
Learn more about how to file a complaint.
Report to EEOC
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) protects applicants and employees from religious discrimination in hiring, firing, promotions, training, wages, and benefits, as well as from a hostile work environment. Title VII also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person for complaining about discrimination, filing a charge of discrimination, or participating in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants’ and employees’ sincerely-held religious observances and practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.
"The EEOC’s pursuit of its mission to protect workers against religious discrimination furthers, in a very practical and real way, this Nation’s founding commitment to religious liberty. Of course, the EEOC is not charged with upholding the constitutional right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment, but with protecting against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Nonetheless, given the wide impact the private sector has on citizens’ daily lives—including the fact that most employees work for private employers—I view the EEOC’s task as a critical part of ensuring that our commitment to religious liberty actually flourishes in our country. "
-- Andrea R. Lucas, EEOC Commissioner
EEOC listening session summary - references Freedom2Care surveys, discrimination experienced by health professionals
If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, you can file a Charge of Discrimination. A charge of discrimination is a signed statement asserting that an employer, union or labor organization engaged in employment discrimination. It requests EEOC to take remedial action.