November 13, 2013

EEOC targets national origin discrimination, observers expect guidance update

By Judy Greenwald
November 18, 2013

Facing major changes in workforce demographics, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is widely expected to revise its 11-year-old guidance on national origin discrimination.
The guidance was last revised in 2002 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Since then, however, the makeup of the U.S. labor force has changed and more dramatic changes are predicted.
For example, Hispanics made up 11.7% of the labor force in 2000, rising to 13.3% in 2005 and are projected to reach 24.3% by 2050, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Asians made up 4.4% of the labor force in 2000 and 2005, but are projected to reach 8.3% by 2050.

Karen Glickstein, a shareholder at Polsinelli in Kansas City, Mo., said that national origin cases also go “hand-in-hand” with issues that include religious discrimination, such as Muslim dress issues, which also has been the focus of recent litigation.

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