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Anti-Arab, Anti-Middle Eastern, Anti-Muslim, and Antisemitic Discrimination are Illegal


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination, including on the basis of religion, national origin, and race, in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing,
pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.  Unlawful discrimination against applicants or employees can include:

  • treating an individual adversely based on their actual or perceived religious practices or membership in a particular racial or national origin group (e.g., Israeli or Palestinian);
  • treating an individual adversely based on the assumption that the individual holds certain views because of their religion, national origin, or race;
  • treating an individual adversely because of the individual’s actual or perceived association with, or relationship to, a person of a particular religion, national origin, or race;
  • treating an individual adversely for actual or perceived participation in, or association with, civic, cultural, or religious organizations that are closely aligned with particular religions, national origins, or racial groups; or
  • treating individuals of different religions, national origins, or races differently because of these protected characteristics when they engage in similar speech or conduct.


Title VII bars job segregation based on religion, national origin, or race. For example, an employer may not assign an employee to a non-customer-facing position because
of actual or assumed customer bias against religious or ethnic dress, including a hijab, kippah/yarmulke, or turban.


  • Title VII prohibits workplace harassment — including unwelcome remarks or conduct — based on an individual’s actual or perceived religion, national origin, or race.   Harassment is illegal when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as denial of a pay raise, or is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work  environment. A single incident can create a hostile work environment if it is sufficiently severe, such as the display of certain symbols of violence or hatred (e.g., a swastika) toward individuals sharing the same protected characteristic.
  • Harassment based on religion may include forcing an individual to abandon, alter, or adopt a religious practice as a condition of employment. Harassment based on national origin or race can include remarks or conduct based on an individual’s birthplace, ethnicity, culture, name, language, dress, or accent.
  • Conduct that occurs outside of work can contribute to a hostile work environment. For example, if an employee posts religious slurs about a Muslim or Jewish coworker on their personal social media, it can affect the workplace if the coworker learns about the posts directly, or other coworkers see and discuss them at work.


Title VII requires covered employers to reasonably accommodate a conflict between a work requirement and an individual’s sincere religious beliefs, observances, or
practices, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship.  Religious accommodations may include schedule changes, leave, and exceptions to dress and grooming codes where  necessary to accommodate an individual’s religion.


Title VII bars retaliation by an employer because an individual has engaged in specific protected activities under Title VII, including requesting a religious accommodation, objecting to or opposing employment discrimination, participating in employer or EEOC investigations, or filing an EEOC charge or complaint.


If you suspect discrimination, contact the EEOC promptly because there are strict time limits for filing a charge.