Podcast: EEOC Takes Aim at Tackling National Origin Discrimination

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued its first major pronouncement on national origin discrimination since 2002. With some of the heated campaign rhetoric about Muslims and Mexicans, it's a timely topic. Nearly 11 percent of the roughly 91,000 discrimination charges filed in Fiscal Year 2016 with the EEOC consisted of national origin bias claims.

On this podcast, EEOC Senior Attorney Advisor Muslima Lewis discusses her agency's recent enforcement guidance and why it decided to take action now. Lewis explains that the EEOC issued its last national origin discrimination guidance in the aftermath of 9/11, but says some of the same issues that concerned the Commission back then still exist in the workplace today.

EEOC Takes Aim at Tackling National Origin Discrimination

January 24, 2017

Lewis notes that the EEOC is making an effort to get in front of the issue and remind employers of their obligations. As a result, the guidance shares a host of best practices in the following areas:

  • Avoiding reliance solely on word-of-mouth in recruiting;
  • Using objective, written criteria;
  • Implementing progressive discipline policies;
  • Having a harassment policy with clear steps for reporting complaints; and
  • Being mindful if policies need to be translated.

The guidance also addresses the EEOC's views on English-only rules in the workplace and examines what employers need to know about the intersection of national origin and religious discrimination.

Additional Resources

Prevent National Origin Discrimination

How to Handle a Complaint of Discrimination Based on National Origin