RESOURCES TO BUILD A BETTER WORKPLACE
MAPS believes that a more inclusive Federal, State and local workforce strengthens the institutions they serve and ultimately, the American public, by providing a broad range of skills and a diversity of experiences and perspectives. A diverse civil and foreign service is also essential to our national security, both at home and abroad.
MAPS believes that Muslim professionals should exercise their right of association at the workplace, and be accorded all other rights and privileges available to them free from discrimination.
Members of MAPS are also committed to public institutions that champion diversity and inclusion, as well as promote safe, equitable work environments for all.
The following resources highlight workplace rights, religious accommodation, building supportive associations, bolstering diversity and inclusion at work, and recent advancement in local governments using budget based tools to promote equity in their communities.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing Federal laws against employee discrimination. Most employers with at least 15 employees, most labor unions and employment agencies are covered by EEOC laws.
EEOC urges employers and employees to be mindful of instances of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in the workplace and to take actions to prevent or correct this behavior.
Employers may not make employment decisions-including hiring, firing, or promoting-on the basis of national origin or religion under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Learn more about the law and workplace rights below:
The information provided below highlights what you should know about EEOC’s outreach and enforcement in this area:
- Questions and Answers about the Workplace Rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs under the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
- What You Should Know: Religious and National Origin Discrimination Against Those Who Are, or Are Perceived to Be, Muslim or Middle Eastern
- EEOC: Selected List of Pending and Resolved Cases Alleging Religious and National Origin Discrimination Involving the Muslim, Sikh, Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian Communities
- Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Recent allegations of workplace discrimination against Muslims in USA
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) [also known as Affinity Groups or VEOs] are a way to cultivate a supportive, welcoming, inclusive and equitable work environment in your Federal Department or public institution.
They serve as a critical link between employees and senior management, connecting a diverse array of backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences to each Department’s diversity managers, Human Capital staff, and key decision-makers. They support the personal growth and professional development of their members and they help develop programs and learning opportunities not only for themselves but for the rest of the workforce.
ERGs have the pulse of their community and their constituents and work with management to develop and execute recommendations to solve mission-related problems before they become large-scale issues.
Muslim public service professionals, and Federal government employees in particular, are forming a growing number of such groups to foster community, support professional networking and career development, contribute to their Department’s diversity and inclusion objectives, and increase employee morale, retention and productivity.
MAPS supports these efforts and aims to serve as a catalyst, resource, and force multiplier for formal organizational representation of Muslim public servants. Learn more about the goals of ERGs, the formation process or start a MAPS chapter at your Department here.
Additional external resources on the ERG community and trends are shared below:
While the discourse is active among the public service professional and the ERG community, recent studies and articles are included below as a resource and starting point for charting a successful path forward.
- Behavioral Scientist: Want to Debias Hiring? Change What Hiring Managers Focus On
- Harpers Bazaar: The Diversity and Inclusion Industry Has Lost Its Way
- Truman Center: Transforming State; While mainly focused on reforming the U.S. Department of State and the foreign service, this recent report by the Truman Center contains broad best practices on equity, justice, and inclusion that apply across the Federal government.
Local governments have the potential to make a substantial and lasting impact in creating equity for all the people in their communities. One of the most powerful levers for change is the budget.
These case studies, tools, and resources should offer a place to start.
Bloomberg CityLab: How to Make Sure City Budgets Prioritize Racial Equity
- City of San Antonio, Texas: Fiscal year 2021 Budget Equity Tool
Many Federal employees have established active Friday services within their offices to accommodate Muslim colleagues and avoid excessive disruptions during the work day.
To help establish an employee resource group to build community and organize communal services at your Federal agency, learn more here, or find established prayer services and mosques near your DC office here.