This exception is not limited to religious activities of the organization.
However, it only allows religious organizations to prefer to employ individuals who share their religion.
As evidenced by the York University incident, accommodation of religious beliefs can be a controversial topic, particularly as organizations respond to an increasingly diverse workforce or student population.
Generally, employers will be able to accommodate religious requests by providing days off work or short leaves of absence to allow the employee to participate in religious observances or holidays.
Specifically, employers are prohibited from discriminating against potential or current employees on certain grounds, including race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, and disability.
Implied in the prohibition against discrimination is a positive duty on the part of the employer to accommodate their employees' needs for reasons associated with recognized discriminatory grounds, which is known more simply as the duty to accommodate.
The exception does not allow religious organizations otherwise to discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
Title VIIs protections also extend to those who are discriminated against or need accommodation because they profess no religious beliefs. those that include a belief in God) as well as non-theistic moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.
Although courts generally resolve doubts about particular beliefs in favor of finding that they are religious, beliefs are not protected merely because they are strongly held.