Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64the Christian religious purposes it was created to serve and the core religious beliefs that control the what, how, and why of mission activities. 2. Strengthen Your Mission’s Religious Identity in Employment Documentation One of the greatest areas of potential legal claims involves employment. (In AGRM’s informal poll, nearly one in three mission CEOs identified HR and hiring practices as a legal concern for their missions.) Allegations of employment discrimi- nation and harassment are a primary area of litigation for nonprofits. In addition, there are increasing efforts at the federal level and in virtu- ally every state to expand the categories covered by employment discrimination laws and to limit or reduce the protections for religious employers. At the federal level, in the waning days of the current Administration, executive agencies are taking the position that the word “sex” in existing employment discrimination laws and regulations— which historically has been understood to refer only to the binary biological male/female distinc- tion—should also encompass sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The federal Depart- ment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Education, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have all taken this position in proposed regulations and are strategi- cally pursuing litigation and enforcement actions to establish this position legally. At the state level, legislation has been adopted or introduced in almost every state to add SOGI to state employment and other anti-discrimination laws, which traditionally have covered primarily race, sex, religion, national origin, and ethnicity. Previously, such laws normally included express exemptions to allow religious ministries to favor people who completely share the same religious convictions. Such faith commitments are usually essential to ensure that employees share and will advance a religious organization’s religious purposes. But these religious exemptions are increasingly under attack legally and even in the media. To better prepare for these risks, missions must review and strengthen employment-related documentation. This should be done across the board, but several areas are particularly urgent. Employee Handbooks and Codes of Conduct. Among other things, your mission’s Employee Handbook and any Employee Codes of Conduct should: • Note your religious identity and purposes (from your foundational documents). 14 WWW.AGRM.ORG JULY/AUGUST 2016 At the federal level, in the waning days of the current Administration, executive agencies are taking the position that the word “sex” in existing employment discrimination laws and regulations—which historically has been understood to refer only to the binary biological male/female distinction— should also encompass sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).