For the first time since 2002, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced it is addressing matters of national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of proposed enforcement guidance for public input.
Employees and job applicants are protected under Title VII against employer discrimination based on aspects of ethnicity, national origin, sex, or religion. Persons are also protected from retaliatory actions following complaints.
The revised guidance has been expanded to include human trafficking, intersectional discrimination, and job segregation. The current draft guidance is available for review at https://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EEOC-2016-0004.
EEOC Chair Jenny Yang states identifying and protecting vulnerable populations is a national strategic priority and that “no person should face barriers to equal employment opportunity in America simply because of their ethnicity or country of origin.”
“The Commission looks forward to hearing public input on the proposed enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination,” said Yang. Until July 1, 2016, the public is invited to submit narrative input to www.regulations.gov in letter, email, or memo format. Hard copy may be mailed to Public Input, EEOC, Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507.
Input results will be posted on www.regulations.gov; people submitting input are advised to not include personal information such as home addresses as it may be publically posted.
Upon reviewing public input, the EEOC will consider amending the draft guidance prior finalizing revisions and replacing the December 2002 Compliance Manual on National Origin Discrimination.
Nearly 11 percent of the 89,385 private sector charges filed with the EEOC in fiscal year 2015 alleged national origin discrimination, as well as a host of other violations, including termination, failure to hire, harassment, and language-related issues.