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New guidelines on national origin discrimination

Foreign-born individuals in Pennsylvania could be subjected to national origin discrimination while they are looking for a job or during their employment. National origin discrimination occurs when an employer treats a worker unfairly because the employer believes that the worker is from a certain area of the world. Employers may have committed national origin discrimination even if they were wrong in their assumption about where a worker is from.

In early June, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released some proposed guidance on national origin discrimination. In the proposed guidance, the EEOC warned employers that combating national origin discrimination is a 'national strategic priority." In other words, federal authorities are paying more attention to discrimination against immigrant populations right now.

The EEOC's proposed guidance also explained some hiring activities that could be considered national origin discrimination. If an employer hires by word-of-mouth or through advertisements that only reach people of certain ethnicities, the employer could be accused of discriminating because of national origin. Employers may also be deemed to commit discrimination if they do not hire workers from certain areas of the world because of their customers' preferences. Segregating employees into certain areas of a workplace based on their ethnicity is also considered workplace discrimination.

A person who is discriminated against on the basis of national origin when applying for a job or during the course of employment may have a viable cause of action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An attorney can assess the situation in order to determine whether a claim should be filed with the EEOC.

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