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Houston area employees and new discrimination guidelines

Houston-area employees should be aware of new enforcement guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding national origin discrimination. On Nov. 18, 2016, the EEOC issued a new set of guidelines. These guidelines were created for small businesses and developed to combat workplace conduct that violates Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A question and answer page and a related fact sheet were also released.

National origin discrimination charges make up approximately 11 percent of private sector charges filed with the EEOC each year. The new Enforcement Guidelines are expected to address the issues that most frequently arise in these cases. Employees are protected based on factors such as national origin, race, and religion. The new guidelines also cover attempts to exploit workforces from other countries. The Enforcement Guidance clarifies a variety of workplace discrimination issues such as prohibiting employees from conversing in their preferred languages when they are not working and requiring fluency in English even when it is not a necessary skill for the job.

National origin discrimination is any type of discrimination that involves an employer who bases treatment of employees and potential employees on their physical, linguistic and cultural characteristics. This may include cultural attire, language, and regional accents. Employers are not permitted to discriminate against people as a result of their perceived national origin, and this restriction applies to all aspects of the employment cycle, from recruitment to termination.

Employees who have been unfairly discriminated against due to their national origin may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation. From lost earnings to pain and suffering as a result of workplace discrimination, there are a variety of damages that may be collected. An employment lawyer may be able to help employees determine whether they were actively discriminated against and what steps they should take next.

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Warren & Siurek, L.L.P.
3334 Richmond Avenue, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77098

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Phone: 832-699-1988
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