EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued its updated enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination to replace its 2002 compliance manual section on that subject, the federal agency announced yesterday.

The Commission has also issued two short user-friendly resource documents to accompany the guidance: a question-and-answer publication on the guidance document and a small business fact sheet that highlights the major points in the guidance in plain language. 

"EEOC is dedicated to advancing opportunity for all workers and ensuring freedom from discrimination based on ethnicity or country of origin," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. "This guidance addresses important legal developments over the past 14 years on issues ranging from human trafficking to workplace harassment. The examples and promising practices included in the guidance will promote compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws and help employers and employees better understand their legal rights and responsibilities."

On June 2, EEOC published a proposed guidance for public input on www.regulations.gov. The guidance issued today reflects the Commission's consideration of feedback received on the proposal from approximately 20 organizations and individuals.

EEOC's enforcement guidance documents are approved by the Commission, set forth the agency's interpretation of the law, and explain how federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations apply to specific workplace situations. The enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination discusses Title VII's prohibition on national origin discrimination as applied to a wide variety of employment situations and highlights promising practices for employers to prevent discrimination. The guidance also addresses developments in the courts since 2002, as well as topics such as job segregation, human trafficking and intersectional discrimination.

In fiscal year 2015, approximately 11 percent of the 89,385 private sector charges filed with EEOC alleged national origin discrimination.  These charges alleged a wide variety of Title VII violations, including unlawful failure to hire, termination, language-related issues, and harassment.

EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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