EEOC Issues Guidance on 'National Origin' Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/national-origin-guidance.cfm?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=#_ftn23">updated enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination to replace its 2002 compliance manual section on that subject today.

“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 said in a press release. “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, the EEOC published a proposed guidance for public input, and the guidance issued today reflects the Commission’s consideration of feedback received on the proposal from approximately 20 organizations and individuals.

The new guidelines define a "national origin group," or an "ethnic group," as a group of people sharing a common language, culture, ancestry, race, and/or other social characteristics. For example, Hispanics, Arabs, and Roma are ethnic or national origin groups, the guidelines say.

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, a press release from EEOC says. These charges alleged a wide variety of Title VII violations, including unlawful failure to hire, termination, language-related issues, and harassment.


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