EEOC Publishes Guidance to Reduce National Origin Discrimination

The Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a new question-and-answer
guide on national origin discrimination—
a user-friendly document
designed to help the public interpret the anti-discrimination law.

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The guide defines what national origin discrimination is,
describes how employers can avoid engaging in such discrimination and gives
examples of “promising practices” to reduce the risk of violations.

The new document is part of the EEOC’s recently updated enforcement
 on national
origin discrimination. Those guidelines reflect the commission’s interpretation
of the law, taking into account recent court rulings and other legal, social
and technological developments, said EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer.

National origin discrimination is covered under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC defines such discrimination as
“treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are
from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent,
or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are

Fiona Ong, an attorney with Shawe Rosenthal LLP in
Baltimore, said the updated guidelines can be especially helpful to employment
attorneys and businesses at a time when U.S. political rhetoric has sometimes
emboldened people to discriminate against co-workers from diverse backgrounds.

Ong added that businesses must make sure that they
provide the guidelines to managers and employees, translate the guidance into
the languages used by employees, and hold training to convey what’s in the

The number of national origin
discrimination charges
from approximately 8,500 in 2000 to just over 10,000 in 2015.

companies have to stay up to date on employment laws. To make it a little
easier for employers, the EEOC released a document that breaks down the
anti-discrimination law. For help with employee relations, hiring, terminations,
and everything inbetween, visit
for more information. With the HR support and expertise we provide, you won’t
have to worry about a national origin discrimination case. Contact us directly
at or 610-296-8550.

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