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EEOC Updates Guidance on National Origin Discrimination
Image related to EEOC Updates Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated guidance on Nov. 21, 2016, regarding national origin discrimination for the first time since 2002. In 2015, 11 percent of all discrimination charges filed with the EEOC included allegations of national origin discrimination. The new guidance discusses Title VII’s prohibition against national origin discrimination and its application to all types of workplace settings, including hiring, firing, and discipline, in order to prevent employment discrimination on the basis of national origin.

The EEOC update reminds employers of several important employment practices. First, all foreign nationals who are legally working within the United States are protected by Title VII, regardless of their citizenship status and have standing to bring a Title VII discrimination claim. Further, national origin discrimination may also exist in the form of an “association” claim, (where an employer treats an employee less favorably because the employee associates with someone of a particular national origin) or a “perceived as” claim, (where the employer intends to treat an employee differently because of what it believes the employee’s national origin to be, even if that belief is ultimately incorrect.) For more on the EEOC guidance, click here.

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