The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



New Fact Sheets Part of Agency's Ongoing Efforts to Prevent Backlash Discrimination

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Cari M. Dominguez today announced the availability of two new fact sheets, for employers and employees respectively, addressing frequently asked questions about the employment of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs. These materials represent EEOC's latest in a series of efforts to proactively prevent September 11-related workplace backlash against people who are, or are perceived to be, members of these vulnerable communities.

"EEOC Commissioners have listened to the concerns of those individuals most affected by backlash discrimination in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Frequently, we have been told that concrete answers to questions on the minds of employers and workers alike in the form of tangible information sheets that could be shared and discussed would be most beneficial," said Chair Dominguez. "These user-friendly materials have been developed to meet that need."

Questions and Answers about Employer Responsibilities Concerning the Employment of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs includes information about hiring and other employment decisions, harassment, religious accommodation, temporary assignments, background investigations, and where to go for more guidance.

Questions and Answers about the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs under the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, which is geared toward employees, includes information about hiring and discharge, harassment, religious accommodation, and how to file a charge of discrimination.

The new fact sheets are available by contacting the EEOC's Publications Distribution Center at (800) 669-3362 voice or (800) 800-3302 TTY, as well as on EEOC's web site at The web site also offers a special "September 11 Information" section with additional materials and resources.

The EEOC, through its national charge data base, regularly tracks the numbers of charges received under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act alleging discrimination based on race, religion and national origin. In order to further track how many of these charges are now being filed by individuals who believe that they have experienced backlash discrimination, the Commission implemented into its charge data base a new code Process Type Z retroactive to September 11, 2001. As of May 7, 2002, EEOC field offices throughout the country had received 488 such charges. Discharge has been alleged to be an issue in 301 of these charges, and harassment has been alleged to be an issue in 194 of these charges. States with the greatest numbers of charges filed include Texas (63), California (47), Florida (34), Illinois (34) and Arizona (30).

Prior to September 11, 2001, EEOC already was tracking the number of charges filed nationwide alleging discrimination on the basis of several specific religions, including the Muslim faith. Between September 11, 2001, and May 7, 2002, the EEOC received 497 charges on the basis of Muslim religion. During the comparable period one year earlier, 193 such charges were received.

In addition to enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, the EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on May 15, 2002.

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