EEOC Issues Resolution Condemning Violence, Harassment, and bias Against Jewish Persons in the United States

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – which enforces various anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – recently issued a Resolution Condemning Violence, Harassment, and Bias Against Jewish Persons in the United States (signed May 26, 2021).

It provides, in full:

WHEREAS the [EEOC], established by the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the principal federal agency charged with enforcing the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination; and

WHEREAS the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress; and

WHEREAS President Lyndon B. Johnson declared at the July 2, 1964 signing ceremony that the purpose of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is “to promote a more abiding commitment to freedom, a more constant pursuit of justice, and a deeper respect for human dignity”; and

WHEREAS Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against harassment and other forms of employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), and national origin; and

WHEREAS the Commission remains resolute in its commitment to advancing equal opportunity and justice for all people in the workplace; and

WHEREAS guaranteeing safety and security is critical to advancing equal employment opportunity for all people in the workplace; and

WHEREAS May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which honors the generations of Jewish Americans who have contributed to the fabric of American history, culture, and society; and

WHEREAS our country’s commitment to religious liberty, including and especially for persecuted religious minorities, stretches back to its founding, including President George Washington’s pledge of safety and freedom to a Jewish congregation in 1790; and

WHEREAS millions of Jewish individuals have sought and found safety, peace, and prosperity in our pluralistic society and in turn have contributed to the flourishing of our country; and

WHEREAS nationwide bias-motivated crimes and reports of bias-motivated harassment against Jewish individuals and communities in the United States, including defacement and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses and houses of worship, have recently increased; and

WHEREAS it is imperative that the recent violence, hatred, and harassment against Jewish individuals must end; and

WHEREAS hatred, bigotry, and violence have a devastating impact on workers; and

WHEREAS the Commission seeks to prevent and remedy barriers to equal employment opportunity based on religion, including those that impact Jewish individuals and communities; and

WHEREAS Jewish persons, like all persons, should be treated with dignity and respect at work and in all other aspects of their lives:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT – the [EEOC] condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent violence, harassment, and acts of bias against Jewish persons; expresses our heartfelt sympathy to and solidarity with victims and their families; and reaffirms our commitment to combat religious, ethnic, and national origin-based harassment and all other forms of unlawful discrimination and to ensure equal opportunity, inclusion, and dignity for all throughout America’s workplaces.

While this Resolution is indisputably a positive development, it is unfortunate that it needed to be issued in the first place.

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