29 CFR § 2.35 - Beneficiary protections: referral requirements.

§ 2.35 Beneficiary protections: referral requirements.

(a) If a beneficiary or prospective beneficiary of a social service program supported by direct DOL financial assistance objects to the religious character of an organization that provides services under the program, that organization must promptly undertake reasonable efforts to identify and refer the beneficiary or prospective beneficiary to an alternative provider to which the beneficiary or the prospective beneficiary has no objection.

(b) A referral may be made to another religious organization, if the beneficiary has no objection to that provider. But if the beneficiary requests a secular provider, and a secular provider is available, then a referral must be made to that provider.

(c) Except for services provided by telephone, internet, or similar means, the referral must be to an alternative provider that is in reasonable geographic proximity to the organization making the referral and that offers services that are similar in substance and quality to those offered by that organization. The alternative provider also must have the capacity to accept additional clients.

(d) When the organization makes a referral to an alternative provider, the organization shall maintain a record of that referral for review by the awarding entity. When the organization determines that it is unable to identify an alternative provider, the organization shall promptly notify and maintain a record for review by the awarding entity. If the organization is unable to identify an alternative provider, the awarding entity shall determine whether there is any other suitable alternative provider to which the beneficiary may be referred.

(e) A DOL social service intermediary provider that receives a request for assistance in identifying an alternative provider may request assistance from DOL.

(f) The obligations in this section apply only to religious organizations providing services under social service programs administered in the United States.

[81 FR 19423, Apr. 4, 2016]