Press Release


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


WASHINGTON - The next meeting of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will be Tuesday, December 11, at 1:30 p.m. in the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Conference Room (9th Floor), 1801 L Street, N.W. The public meeting, the first held under the leadership of EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez, will focus on employment discrimination in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"This meeting will serve the public interest by engaging the federal government in an open dialogue with employers and community representatives about how the tragic events of September 11 have affected the American workplace," said Chair Dominguez. "We will hear about some concerns and experiences regarding employment discrimination post-September 11, employer responses and best practices, and future actions of the EEOC."

Following opening remarks from Commission members, three panels consisting of affected communities, employers, and EEOC officials will address the issue of workplace bias and harassment against employees or job applicants who are - or are perceived to be - Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, or Sikh. New tracking codes recently implemented by the Commission show that more than 130 charges of employment discrimination directly related to the events of September 11 have been filed with EEOC since that tragic day.

Invited panelists scheduled to speak to the Commission include, among others, representatives of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Arab American Institute, National Association of Muslim Lawyers, Sikh Coalition, TRW Space & Electronics, Astra-Zenica Pharmaceuticals, EEOC headquarters officials, and the director of the agency's Detroit District Office - which has enforcement jurisdiction over one of the nation's largest metropolitan populations of Muslims, Arab-Americans, and Middle Easterners. While the general public will not be able to address the Commission during the course of the meeting, individuals are welcome to submit written statements which will be considered for publication on EEOC's Web site at

Since September 11, EEOC has taken an active role in urging employers to promote tolerance and guard against unlawful workplace bias and harassment based on religion, ethnicity, and national origin. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals based on the following (among others):

  • Religion, ethnicity, race, color, birthplace, culture, or linguistic characteristics;
  • Marriage or association with persons of a national origin or religious group;
  • Membership or association with specific ethnic or religious groups;
  • Physical, linguistic or cultural traits closely associated with a national origin group (for example, discrimination because of a person's physical features or traditional Arab style of dress); and/or
  • Perception or belief that a person is a member of a particular national origin group, often based on the person's speech, mannerisms, or appearance.

EEOC's efforts to promote tolerance include providing 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. These proactive efforts are intended to further clarify the laws enforced by EEOC in order to increase understanding and promote voluntary compliance.

EEOC also has taken a prominent role in the coordination of a combined federal government effort to educate, inform, prevent, and address, where necessary, discriminatory backlash and harassment activities directed at communities across the nation that are or may be vulnerable in the aftermath of September 11.

The interagency coordination includes development and dissemination of an information fact sheet and public information brochures in several languages, coordinated outreach, and priority enforcement of the anti-discrimination laws where applicable. Moreover, on November 19, EEOC and the Departments of Justice and Labor issued a Joint Statement Against Employment Discrimination in the Aftermath of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks and followed up with a public community forum in Dearborn, Mich., the next day. The joint statement and other information related to the September 11 aftermath are available on the Commission's Web site at

In addition to enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older; sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Equal Pay Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and the Rehabilitation Act's prohibitions against disability discrimination in the federal government.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Seating is limited to approximately 125 people; however, an overflow room will have closed circuit television of the meeting. Members of the public are requested to arrive before 1:00 p.m. in order to allow sufficient time to complete entry procedures prior to the meeting. Any matters not discussed or concluded may be carried over to a later meeting. The Commission agenda is subject to revision. Please call (202) 663-7100 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTY) on the day of the meeting to confirm the schedule.

This page was last modified on December 6, 2001.