As I wrote in January, the EEOC issued new guidance called: “Questions and Answers for Employers: Responsibilities Concerning the Employment of Individuals Who Are, or Are Perceived to Be, Muslim or Middle Eastern.” The EEOC said that it issued the guidance in response to the “attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, in late 2015 and other recent world events….”
Perhaps unsure it got the message across, the EEOC has now issued an announcement titled: “What You Should Know About Religious and National Origin Discrimination Against Those Who Are or Are Perceived to Be, Muslim or Middle Eastern.” This latest announcement touts some of the Commission’s victories on behalf of Muslim workers and notes (in a sentence) that they bring claims on behalf of members of other religions, too.
Since less than 4% of EEOC complaints allege religious discrimination, is this overkill? Are the people who write EEOC announcements overwhelmed by the relentless pressure of having to come up with new ideas to write about (I know, I know)? Or do employees still not realize that discriminating against and harassing Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian workers is just as unacceptable as any other type of discrimination or harassment?
Who knows. But if you manage a workforce, be aware that this is a priority for the EEOC and make sure your employees behave themselves accordingly. Also, rest assured that if the EEOC next issues: “We Really, Really Mean It This Time: More Guidance on Religious and National Origin Discrimination Against Those Who Are or Are Perceived to Be, Muslim or Middle Eastern” you can read about it here.