- Post-election, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to expand immigrant protections, reports the National Law Review. In fact, for the next five years, the agency is making immigrants’ rights a priority under its Strategic Enforcement Plan.
- The EEOC’s Guidance on National Origin Discrimination broadly defines “national origin discrimination” as discrimination or harassment towards people or their ancestors because they’re from another place or share culture, physical or language characteristic of an ethnic group or national origin.
- Citizenship and immigrant status aren’t included in the definition, but the agency makes clear that Title VII under the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects everyone, regardless of their foreign national, immigration or citizenship status. The law also protects people who are discriminated against for associating with someone of a certain foreign nationality.
Employers’ anti-discrimination policies and practices must be aligned with the EEOC’s mandates, communicated to all staff and rigorously enforced. In today’s openly divisive, politically charged climate, employers will need to be vigilant about possible discriminatory behavior — especially since the EEOC has showed no qualms about bringing the fight to employers in this regard.
The agency has a guidance Q&A and a fact sheet for small employers that summarize important points.