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EEOC issues guidelines to fight workplace discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission safeguards the right of most Illinois residents to work free of discrimination against them because of their nation of origin. A memorandum from the EEOC provides a wide variety of examples and illustrative situations that will help employers to determine exactly when they might or might not be in violation of workplace discrimination laws.

The U.S. workforce has been gradually growing more diverse. In order to protect certain employees and their particular modes of cultural self-expression, the EEOC issued a bulletin that defines what could be considered workplace discrimination based on country of origin with greater specificity.

For example, it would be a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to require an employee to have American citizenship when their current immigration status is sufficient for the job in question. It would also be against the law to prohibit employees from conversing in a language other than English while on a break.

The types of discrimination that are prohibited under Title VII don't only apply to actions taken in the workplace. They extend as well to the hiring process. People who feel that they have been passed over for a job or denied a promotion or a raise because of their national origin or other characteristics that are protected may want to meet with an attorney in order to learn the rights and remedies that they may possess. In some cases if the matter cannot be resolved internally, it may be advisable to file a claim with the EEOC.

Source: National Law Review, "EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination", Laura Robertson, Nov. 17, 2016

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