If You Have, or Think You Have, Muslim or Middle Eastern Employees, You Need to Read This

By: Christina M. Reger 

In its continued efforts to protect vulnerable employees, on December 23, the EEOC released a statement and two resource documents, in question-and-answer format, explaining federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination against individuals who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or Middle Eastern. The documents come “in the wake of tragic events at home and abroad” and urge employers to take “steps to issue or re-issue policies on preventing harassment, retaliation, and other forms of discrimination in the workplace” and “remain vigilant and to communicate their commitment to inclusive workplaces throughout their organizations.” 

The Press Release can be found here: 

The employer question and answer, which provided advice on hiring and other employment decisions, harassment, religious accommodation, background checks and retaliation, can be found by clicking here: 

The EEOC also provided links to additional EEOC resources for employers: 
EEOC Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination 

Best Practices for Eradicating Religious Discrimination in the Workplace 

Since you do not always know what a person’s religious affiliation or national origin, it might be a good idea to evaluate, update if necessary, and reissue your discrimination policy. The EEOC also recommends training to reinforce the policies. 

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