National Origin Discrimination

For quite awhile we have reported about the EEOC’s targets as set forth in its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP), and noted that “vulnerable worker” abuse and religious discrimination were in the cross-hairs.  Two new settlements emphasize this.

18936794_sThe EEOC has reported that it has settled a religious discrimination case for $100,000 filed against an

The EEOC conducted a public meeting yesterday on national origin employment discrimination.  Noting the diversity in the US workplace (including language diversity), and the increase of immigrants in the workforce, the panelists discussed “various recruitment and hiring issues; discriminatory treatment in assignments; pay discrimination; language and accent issues; effective communication and access issues; harassment; and

Last year we discussed a number of cases brought by the EEOC against employers relating to harassment of farmworkers — the most vulnerable workers, according to the EEOC’s strategic enforcement plan.   We quoted the EEOC general counsel in relation to the settlement of an “appalling” sexual harassment suit: “It is one of the EEOC’s national

Sexual harassment – streaming security camera footage of the breasts of a female employee onto a desk computer;  racial harassment – using the “N-word” to Black employees; and national origin harassment – refusing restroom breaks to Haitian workers and throwing chicken parts at them, were the subjects of three lawsuits just filed by the EEOC. 

Sexual harassment of farmworkers has been established by the EEOC as an area of concern, with the words “harrowing,” “appalling” and “extreme abuse” used regarding a series of recently filed cases. The EEOC has said it is explicitly targeting the abuse of “vulnerable workers.”

We reported on October 11th, that the EEOC

The EEOC announced a $201,000 settlement of a Texas lawsuit on behalf of nine Hispanic employees who claimed a national origin hostile environment at Air Express International and DHL Global Forwarding.  There was "intimidation and ridicule,” stated an EEOC attorney, which was “dehumanizing” and “un-American." 

It was alleged that Hispanic employees (of Mexican, Salvadoran

According to, the EEOC has just settled for $95,000 a national origin discrimination and retaliation claim brought in California on behalf of an employee of Egyptian descent against Sierra Pacific Industries. The allegation was that after 9/11, the employee was called “Osama,” “f—ing Arabian,” and “camel jockey” by co-workers, and that the company permitted