EEOC to Release Proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination for Public Input

Friday, June 3, 2016

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has voted to release for public input a proposed enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  EEOC's enforcement guidance documents express official agency policy and explain how the laws and regulations apply to specific workplace situations. 

Title VII protects job applicants and employees from discrimination based on their race, color, religion, sex or national origin, as well as retaliation because a person complained about discrimination or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Title VII prohibits employer actions that treat people unfavorably because of their national origin, including because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background.

In 2002, the EEOC last comprehensively addressed national origin discrimination.  Since that time, there have been significant legal developments addressing national origin discrimination.  The revised guidance addresses important issues, including 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.

The draft guidance is available for review at!docketDetail;D=EEOC-2016-0004.

The 30-day input period ends on July 1, 2016. The EEOC requests that the input be in narrative form; it does not want submission of redlined versions of the document. The public is invited to submit its input using!home in letter, email or memoranda format. Alternatively, hard copies may be mailed to Public Input, EEOC, Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507.

After reviewing the public input received, the Commission will consider appropriate revisions to the draft guidance before finalizing it. A final guidance would replace the existing Compliance Manual on National Origin Discrimination that was issued in December 2002.

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