The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has voted to release for public input a proposed enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC’s enforcement guidance documents express official agency policy and explain how the laws and regulations apply to specific workplace situations.

Title VII protects job applicants and employees from discrimination based on their race, color, religion, sex or national origin, as well as retaliation because a person complained about discrimination or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Title VII prohibits employer actions that treat people unfavorably because of their national origin, including because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background.

In 2002, the EEOC last comprehensively addressed national origin discrimination. Since that time, there have been significant legal developments addressing national origin discrimination. The revised guidance addresses important issues, including job segregation, human trafficking, and intersectional discrimination.

“No person should face barriers to equal employment opportunity in America simply because of their ethnicity or country of origin,” said EEOC Chair Jenny Yang. “The EEOC has identified protecting immigrant, migrant, and other vulnerable populations as a national strategic priority. The Commission looks forward to hearing public input on the proposed enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination.”

In fiscal year 2015, approximately 11 percent of the 89,385 private sector charges filed with EEOC alleged national origin discrimination. These charges alleged a wide variety of Title VII violations, including unlawful failure to hire, termination, language-related issues, and harassment.

The draft guidance is available for review at!docketDetail;D=EEOC-2016-0004.