Whether an employee or job applicant’s ancestry is Mexican, Ukrainian, Filipino, Arab, American Indian, or any other nationality, he or she is entitled to the same employment opportunities as anyone else. EEOC enforces the federal prohibition against national origin discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which covers employers with fifteen (15) or more employees.
“With American society growing increasingly diverse, protection against national origin discrimination is vital to the right of workers to compete for jobs on a level playing field,” said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez, announcing the issuance of recent guidance on national origin discrimination. “Immigrants have long been an asset to the American workforce. This is more true than ever in today’s increasingly global economy. Recent world events, including the events of September 11, 2001, only add to the need for employers to be vigilant in ensuring a workplace free from discrimination.”
National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because he or she comes from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination also means treating someone less favorably at work because of marriage or other association with someone of a particular nationality. Examples of violations covered under Title VII include:
Title VII and the other antidiscrimination laws prohibit discrimination against individuals employed in the United States, regardless of citizenship. However, relief may be limited if an individual does not have work authorization.
In Fiscal Year 2007, EEOC received 9,396 charges of national origin discrimination. Including charges from previous years, 7,773 charges were resolved, and monetary benefits for charging parties totaled $22.8 million (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).
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