This Executive Order, developed in partnership with partner organization, Muslim Americans in Public Service (MAPS) is a part of Inclusive America’s initiative to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of religious belief and affiliation.
(DRAFT PREPARED OUTSIDE OF THE WHITE HOUSE)
PREVENTING AND COMBATING DISCRIMINATION
ON THE BASIS OF RELIGIOUS IDENTITY IN THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including, but not limited to, sections 3301, 3302, and 7301 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Established Legal Authority.
One of our Nation’s fundamental principles is that all people, regardless of if, who, how, or where they worship or what they believe, are entitled to equal rights and protection under the law. This embrace of and respect for religious pluralism has made our Nation a beacon of hope for people who wish to live without fear of discrimination on the basis of their religious beliefs or affiliation. Yet, over the last decade, hate crimes committed on the basis of religion have surged. For example, 69% of Muslim women, particularly those who wear a hijab or niqab, have reported experiencing targeted discrimination. Discrimination, covert and overt, are also pervasive in our Federal workplaces. Swastikas were etched into elevators of the U.S. Department of State’s Harry S. Truman Building, as well as in the premises of one of our embassies abroad. Discrimination on the basis of religion can also manifest in various ways, and it often overlaps with other forms of prohibited discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, or gender identity. The high prevalence of religious profiling of members of religious minorities, discrimination within interpersonal and institutional settings, and desecration of and resistance to the construction of new places of worship in the United States underscores how crucial it is for our Nation to take steps to eradicate these and other similar acts of prejudice. This action must start within the Federal Government itself, for other employers to follow.
Previous presidential proclamations and executive orders have highlighted the Federal Government’s role in promoting religious inclusion. Examples include the annual presidential proclamation regarding Religious Freedom Day, Executive Order 13985 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), Executive Order 14015 (Establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships), and Executive Order 14035 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce).
It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of religion, and to acknowledge the Federal Government’s important role in ending discrimination against religious minorities, protecting vulnerable communities, and taking actionable steps to ensure religious liberty for all, including and especially for those working as loyal public servants on behalf of the American people.
Sec. 2. Policy.
Sec. 2.1 Integrating Countering Anti-Religious Bias into Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Policy. Anti-religious bias (e.g. Islamophobia, antisemitism) exists in our governmental institutions and workplaces, as it does in other parts of society. Agencies must make combating religious biases a priority by promoting inclusive policies and work environments that take diverse religious beliefs and affiliations into account.
The concept of religious inclusivity should be woven into existing and future DEIA policies, public statements, written materials, trainings and professional development opportunities, and other efforts on this topic.
In addition, all Federal agencies should disseminate on a regular basis, as part of their resources for employees and managers the Clinton Guidelines on Religious Exercise and Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace, and other relevant agency-wide guidance on respecting religious pluralism and facilitating religious accommodation in the workplace.
Sec. 2.2 Collecting Disaggregated Data on Religious Identity. As part of the data collected pursuant to Section 5 (Data Collection) of Executive Order 14035, and in observance of its directive to protect employees’ privacy, Agencies shall collect and analyze data on employees’ self-reported religious affiliations to measure demographic representation and diversity trends in the Agencies’ workforce composition, senior workforce composition, employment applications, hiring decisions, promotions, pay and compensation, professional development programs, and attrition rates to identify gaps.
Sec. 2.3 Eliminating Anti-Religious Bias in Federal Workforce Trainings. Agencies shall, in consultation with civil society members and civil rights organizations, review training programs and related materials to ensure that biased content is identified and removed from government-sponsored trainings, and that materials that insult, demean, stereotype, or scapegoat specific religious groups are not used or disseminated.
Sec. 2.4 Standardizing Law Enforcement and National Security Programs and Engagement. (a) Consistent with Section 2 (Policy on Strengthening the National Security Workforce) of the February 4, 2021, Presidential Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships, Agencies shall ensure that religious diversity is included alongside other forms of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, in order to ensure that recruiting efforts tap the widest talent pool and that critical perspectives are represented in the national security workforce.
(b) Law enforcement agencies are directed to expand efforts to incorporate the expertise of religious groups and address issues preventing partnerships and engagement, including by revisiting the rules of engagement with certain religious organizations and increasing transparency in those engagements.
(c) Law enforcement agencies are directed to expand their recruitment efforts so that religious diversity is included alongside other forms of diversity to ensure that law enforcement agencies are effectively able to serve the communities in which they work.
Sec. 2.5 Ensuring Fairness and Equity in the Security Clearance Process. Consistent with Section 3 (Interagency Working Group on the National Security Workforce) of the February 4, 2021, Presidential Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships, Agencies shall review their security clearance vetting process for any forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, and revise such processes to remove any discrimination on the basis of religious belief or affiliation.
Sec. 2.6 Strengthening the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Grievance Processes Across the Interagency. To ensure that Agency employees are able to work without fear of discrimination, retaliation, or disadvantage and to remain consistent with merit system principles, Agencies shall provide transparent and accessible guidance on the grievance and redress processes for employees who experience discrimination on the basis of religious belief or affiliation in the workplace. Agencies shall also develop a comprehensive framework to effectively address workplace harassment, including harassment on the basis of religion. Agencies shall consult community stakeholders to implement the provisions of this section.
Sec. 2.7 Ensuring unbiased and accountable leadership in government. Advancing equity, inclusion, civil rights, justice, and equal opportunity requires accountability at every level, and particularly in the Federal Government’s senior leadership. Agencies shall consider leadership candidates’ actions regarding DEIA—both positive (e.g., advocacy) and negative (e.g., findings of discriminatory behavior)—in promotion decisions, non-career Executive appointments, and career appointments to the Senior Executive Service.
Sec. 2.8 Increasing Resource Availability and Awareness of Faith Practices. To help identify and prevent bias against underserved communities, agencies shall, in coordination with relevant civil society members and civil rights organizations, increase access to resources combating anti-religious bigotry, consistent with the requirements of Section 9 of Executive Order 14035 (Training and Learning). In addition, Agencies shall work in partnership with their respective Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, where applicable, to increase awareness amongst staff of diverse religious celebrations and practices and to create reasonable accommodations for employees who are members of underrepresented minority religious groups.
Sec. 2.9 Expanding Institutional Partnerships to Enhance Recruitment of Underrepresented Religious Minorities. Agencies shall pursue initiatives and efforts to include members of underrepresented minority religious groups in the government-wide Partnerships Initiative to ensure that the principles of inclusion and access are incorporated into the initiatives pursuant to Section 7 (Partnerships and Recruitment) of Executive Order 14035.
Sec. 2.10 Re-establishing Faith-Based Partnerships in Government Agencies. Agencies shall, in coordination with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, establish or re-establish faith-based partnership initiatives, where appropriate, to support successful collaboration with and outreach to faith-based organizations and communities to promote trust between these groups, the communities they represent, and the Federal Government. Where appropriations allow and to ensure proper continuity, all Centers should have a minimum of two staff, one of whom is a career civil servant.
Consistent with Executive Order 14015, it is important to preserve our fundamental constitutional commitments guaranteeing the equal protection of the laws and the free exercise of religion and forbidding the establishment of religion.
Sec. 3. Enforcement.
(a) The head of each Agency shall, as soon as practicable and in consultation with the Attorney General, review all existing Agency orders, regulations, guidance documents, policies, programs, or other Agency actions (“Agency Actions”) that:
(i) were promulgated or are administered by the Agency under Title VII or any other statute or regulation that prohibits religious discrimination, including any that relate to the Agency’s own compliance with such statutes or regulations; and
(ii) are or may be inconsistent with the policy set forth in Section 2 of this order.
(b) The head of each Agency shall, as soon as practicable and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, including the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq.), consider whether to revise, suspend, or rescind such Agency Actions, or promulgate new Agency Actions, as necessary, to implement statutes and regulations that prohibit religious discrimination and the policy set forth in Section 2 of this order.
(d) Within 100 days of the date of this order, the head of each Agency shall develop, a plan to carry out actions that the Agency has identified pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this Section, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 4. Definitions.
(a) “Agency” means any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. § 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. § 3502(5).
(b) “Religious minorities” means religious groups that represent less than 5% of the total United States population. Examples include, but are not limited to, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
(c) “Anti-religious bias” entails actions or communications that insult, demean, stereotype, or scapegoat specific religious groups, while not extending to entail, characterize or override other civil rights protections.
Sec. 5. General Provisions.
(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or Agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) Independent regulatory agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with the provisions of this order.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, Agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BY THE NUMBERS
With diversity in government, we can ensure that our leaders will have a variety of policies that take in consideration the needs of all Americans. For far too long, our leaders have failed to represent the rich diversity of our nation. It’s time for a more Inclusive America.
No Non-Judeo Christian Member have ever served as a Cabinet Member.
Less than 1% of Federal Judiciary Members come from Religious Minorities.
Religious groups such as Muslims, Hindus, and Mormons, have never had a member appointed to the Supreme Court.
Coalition of Supporters
The following organizations support the draft Executive Order.