Contact Us

What Employers Should Do NOW With National Origin Harassment Requirements

What Should Employers Do in Response to New National Origin Discrimination Regulations That Go Into Effect July 1, 2019

Review the company’s EEO policies. Employers may want to ensure that their equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies and anti-harassment policies include protections for those who are “associated with” persons protected by National Origin as well as employees “perceived to be” in the protected class, that in both situations, the employees are protected.  

Assure that your policies list examples of behavior that could be considered to be harassment from “associations with” someone in the protected class or “perceived to be” in the protected class:

Harassment of an employee whose husband is from Afghanistan.
Refusal to promote an employee because he attends a mosque.
Harassment of a Hispanic person by a harasser who perceived that the individual was Pakistani.
Co-workers repeatedly referring to an employee of Indian descent as “Taliban” or “Arab.”
Harassment of a Sikh man wearing a turban because the harasser perceived him to be Muslim.

Review language restrictions. If a company has language restrictions in place, it may want to consider whether those restrictions meet the requirements in the new regulations. Most likely the employer should delete any language restrictions on employees during their off duty time, including during meal and rest breaks.

According to the new regulations, if an employer has a policy limiting or prohibiting the use of a language, the employer now has to meet a requirement and that the restriction is “narrowly tailored.”   A language restriction that “merely promotes business convenience or is due to customer or co-worker preference” will not pass the test.

Conduct training, Our training has addressed National Origin discrimination AND harassment of persons “associated with” someone in a protected class as well as if someone is “perceived to be” in the protected class.  

After reviewing and updating the companies anti-harassment policy, they should disseminate the policy and provide training. Our newest training video examples showharassment based on one’s perception of a person’s national origin, one’s association with a person of thatnational origin. Call us or e-mail to receive training video examples.