Press Release


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor today issued a joint statement reaffirming the federal government's commitment to upholding the federal anti-discrimination laws in the aftermath of the events of September 11. The statement, posted on the Commission's Web site (, focuses on preventing and redressing incidents of harassment, discrimination, and violence in the workplace, including such acts directed toward individuals who are, or are perceived to be, Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian or Sikh.

"As leaders within the principal federal agencies responsible for enforcing the laws against discrimination in employment, we are issuing this joint statement to reaffirm the federal government's commitment to the civil rights of all working people in our fight against terrorism," reads the document. "These agencies together continue to intensify their efforts to combat discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status in the workplace."

The joint statement is signed by Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the EEOC; Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights; and Charles E. James, Sr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

"The Commission, along with its sister agencies, is committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all America's working people," said EEOC Chair Dominguez.

The three agencies point out that they are closely coordinating and increasing their joint efforts to provide information, public education, guidance, and outreach to a broad range of stakeholders across the country including employers, employees, civil rights advocacy groups, religious and national origin communities, and the general public. While the statement notes that "many employers, labor organizations, and employee groups have taken swift action already," it also urges victims of workplace bias to report such incidents promptly to ensure timely investigations."

Individuals may file charges of employment discrimination in person, by mail or by telephone at the nearest EEOC office. If there is not an EEOC office in the immediate area, individuals may call the following toll free phone numbers: 1-800-669-4000 or 1-800-669-6820 (TTY number for individuals with disabilities that affect hearing and speaking).

Individuals may also file complaints, as appropriate, with the Departments of Justice ( and Labor ( by contacting the following:

  • Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel Worker Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (national origin allegations against employers with four to 14 employees and citizenship or immigration status allegations against all employers).
  • Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at 1-888-376-3227 (allegations against federal government contractors).

EEOC enforces the following federal anti-discrimination laws: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin and retaliation; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 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.

Employees or applicants who believe they have been discriminated against by a federal agency have the right to file a complaint with that agency. Additional information about how to file a charge with EEOC, as well as the laws enforced by the agency, is available online at

This page was last modified on November 19, 2001.