NEA Ordered to Stop Violating Religious Rights of Teachers

According to a report in the Washington Times, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has told the nation's largest teachers' union to "stop violating the religious rights" of members who don't support the group's political causes. The EEOC said it would sue the National Education Association (NEA) if it did not stop "forcing teachers who call themselves religious objectors to undergo annual written procedures so their dues would not fund the union's political agenda."

The Times article explained that because of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials can't force any employee to support a union financially "if doing so violates the employee's sincerely held religious beliefs." Instead, the teacher may donate his or her fees to charity. However, the Ohio Education Association required religious objectors to file annual detailed written statements of their beliefs, and also required verification from a religious official. The EEOC called this "unnecessary delay."