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S. 593: Do No Harm Act


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 28, 2019.


Do No Harm Act

This bill prohibits the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to specified federal laws or the implementation of such laws. Currently, RFRA prohibits the government from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest when using the least restrictive means.

Under the bill, RFRA is inapplicable to laws or the implementation of laws that

protect against discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunity (e.g., the Civil Rights Act of 1964); require employers to provide wages, other compensation, or benefits, including leave; protect collective activity in the workplace; protect against child labor, abuse, or exploitation; or provide for access to, information about, referrals for, provision of, or coverage for, any health care item or service. The bill prevents RFRA from being used to deny (1) goods or services the government has contracted, granted, or made an agreement to provide to a beneficiary; or (2) a person's full and equal enjoyment of a government-provided good, service, benefit, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation.

In order for a person to assert a RFRA claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, the government must be a party to the proceeding.