EEOC Issues New Guidelines on National Origin Discrimination, Harassment

Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 2, 2017 - New guidelines on “national origin” discrimination and harassment by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will be helpful for employers to avoid violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) when facing hiring, firing and discipline issues. The EEOC and other federal agency staff use the guidance to investigate claims of discrimination brought under Title VII.

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The guidelines explain that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s “national origin,” which is defined as countries, former countries and geographic regions closely associated with particular groups, or a group of people sharing a common language, culture, ancestry or race.

“People deserve to be legally protected from discrimination based on their national origin. We frequently see individuals come to our office who have been victims of discrimination because of their accent or simply based on the fact that they were born outside the U.S.,” said Strong Advocates Executive Director, Betsy Havens. “These new guidelines demonstrate yet another step toward ensuring the basic right to be free from discrimination.”

The main features of national origin discrimination can be categorized as discrimination or harassment based on ethnicity; physical, linguistic or cultural traits, such as an accent or style of dress; perception of a person’s origin, regardless of the accuracy of such perception; or a person’s association with someone of a particular origin.

According to EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang, the updated guidance addresses legal issues of the past years since the last version of the guidance was created in 2002. Such issues range from human trafficking to workplace discrimination.

Employers must abide by these new regulations under Title VII. Maintaining compliance can be done by following tips set out by the EEOC, such as offering varied recruitment methods, establishing clear objectives and criteria for hiring and communicating policies effectively to all employees.

Strong Advocates
6601 Center Drive West, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310) 803-9820

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