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EEOC Using New Data to Monitor Post-September 11 Discrimination Charges

EEOC Using New Data to Monitor Post-September 11 Discrimination Charges
  • December 13, 2001

One of the workplace effects of the war on terrorism has been a heightened awareness of discrimination and harassment directed towards individuals who are Arabic, Muslim or Middle-Eastern (see Religious, Ethnic and National Origin Discrimination: Minimizing the Backlash in Jackson Lewis' Fall/Winter 2001 Preventive Strategies bulletin). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to discriminate or retaliate against employees and job applicants on the basis of religion, ethnicity or national origin.

As a result of the events of September 11, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has added to its charge tracking statistics information on alleged discrimination against that protected group of individuals. According to Jennifer Kaplan of the EEOC's Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs:

"The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has implemented new data codes, retroactive to September 11, 2001, to track charges of workplace discrimination filed by individuals who are, or who are perceived to be, Arab, Muslim, Middle-Eastern, or Sikh."

In a December 11 hearing held by the EEOC to address "backlash discrimination" against minorities following the terrorist attacks, the agency reported since September 11 it has received 166 charges. Of these, about 100 cases involve a discharge, and about 60 involve harassment. The states with the highest number of charges are California with 24, Texas with 22, and Illinois and Arizona with 12 each, according to the commission.

More information on the EEOC's statements on religious, ethnic and national origin discrimination is available at via the EEOC website.

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