For the first time in over a decade, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revised its “Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination.” The goal is to help organizations reduce the risk of costly claims of workplace discrimination based on ethnicity or country of origin.
The timing of the updated guidelines could not be better, as the US workplace grows increasingly diverse and organizations in practically every industry face divisive national issues including immigration, deportation and racial profiling.
What is national origin discrimination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against individuals because of their national origin group. A ‘national origin group,’ or an ‘ethnic group,’ is a group of people sharing a common language, culture, ancestry, race, and/or other social characteristics. Hispanics, Arabs, and Roma are examples of ethnic or national origin groups. A place of origin can be a country such as Mexico or Syria or a geographic region such as Kurdistan. National origin discrimination can occur when a member of one national origin group discriminates against a member of the same group.
The guidelines are comprehensive, covering everything from employment decisions and hiring to language and citizenship issues and include workplace examples. The guidelines culminate with a list of “promising practices” to help employers reduce the risk of Title VII violations. Here is a summary…
|Do’s and Don’ts for Reducing the Risk of National Origin Discrimination Claims|
The American workplace is more diverse than ever. The EEOC’s revised guidelines are a timely reminder for employers to review their anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures, Codes of Conduct and hiring practices to ensure that issues such as national origin discrimination are discussed and addressed appropriately.