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Meeting of November 13, 2013 - National Origin Discrimination in Today's Workplace

Written Testimony of Lucila Rosas
EEOC Lead Coordinator,
Immigrant Worker Team

Good morning Madam Chair, Commissioners and General Counsel, it is a great honor to be here today. Thank you for the opportunity to address you regarding the very important topic of national origin discrimination.

I have worked for the EEOC since 1999, litigating cases as a trial attorney for approximately 11 years and most recently presiding over federal sector EEO hearings as an Administrative Judge. I am here today in my capacity as the Lead Coordinator of the EEOC's Immigrant Worker Team. In that capacity, I will be providing you a brief overview of the Commission's past and current accomplishments on the issue of national origin discrimination and its work on behalf of immigrant workers. I would like to first provide background on recent demographic changes in the United States that have led to a shift in the EEOC's national enforcement priorities.

Since its creation nearly 50 years ago, the EEOC has worked to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination. During this time, the workforce the Agency is charged to protect has undergone profound changes. Not only has the labor force grown from 73 million in 1964, the year the EEOC was created, to over 155 million workers in 2013, it has also become much more diverse. In 1990, minorities[1] represented approximately 23 percent of the total civilian workforce.[2] By 2000, the number grew to approximately 29 percent[3] and, by 2010, to 33 percent of the civilian workforce, an increase of over 22 million or 77 percent in 20 years.[4]

In addition, in 2000, approximately 33 percent of the minority population[5] in the United States spoke a language other than English.[6] By 2010, this percentage had increased to 50 percent.[7] This accounted for a 52 percent rise between 2000 and 2010.[8] The most recent 2012 American Community Survey data shows that the estimated percentage of the minority population who speak a language other than English has remained at 50 percent.[9]

Foreign-born Population in the United States and Migration Patterns

In 2010, the largest percentages of recent immigrants to the United States were from Asia and Latin America.[10] The foreign-born population from Asia increased from 8.2 million in 2000 to 11.6 million in 2011.[11] Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million, accounting for over half of the 27.3 million increase in the total U.S. population.[12] In 2010, Black African immigrants comprised approximately 4 percent of the total foreign-born population in the United States.[13]

With the changing demographics also came a shift in the migration stream of these populations. For example, while California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Florida and Illinois account for 65 percent of the nation's foreign-born population, there were 13 states where the growth in the immigrant population was more than twice the national average of 28 percent over the last decade.[14] These states were Alabama (92 percent), South Carolina (88 percent), Tennessee (82 percent), Arkansas (79 percent), Kentucky (75 percent), North Carolina (67 percent), South Dakota (65 percent), Georgia (63 percent), Indiana (61 percent), Nevada (61 percent), Delaware (60 percent), Virginia (60 percent), and Oklahoma (57 percent).[15]

National Origin Discrimination in the Private and State and Local Government Sectors

In the private, and state and local government sectors, EEOC investigates charges of discrimination filed by individuals who allege they were discriminated against by private employers. Approximately 11.06% of private sector discrimination charges filed with EEOC between FY 2002 and FY 2012 alleged at least one basis of national origin discrimination, with the number of such charges remaining relatively steady during the period, with a high of 11.9% in FY 2009. In FY 2012, the most recent fiscal year for which data are available, charges alleging national origin discrimination comprised 10.9% of the total charges filed. The three most common issues alleged in national-origin charges during the 10 year period were discharge, followed by harassment, and terms and conditions, for the national origin groups of European, Hispanic/Latino and Middle Eastern, while discharge, terms and conditions and harassment were the three most frequently alleged issues for the national origin groups of African, American/Other, Asian, and Caribbean.[16]

During the ten year period from FY 2002 to FY 2012, the Hispanic/Latino national origin group outpaced the other national origin groups in the number of national origin discrimination charges filed, averaging 43.2% of the national origin charges filed during the period. The American/Other national origin group was second during the ten year period, followed by Middle Eastern and Asian from FY 2002 to FY 2007. However, from FY 2008 to FY 2012, the Asian national origin group outpaced the Middle Eastern national group for the second most national origin charges filed. Of all the national origin groups during the 10 year period, the Asian national origin group experienced the largest percentage increase in the number of national origin-based charges from 312 charges, or 3.4% of all national origin charges, in FY 2002, to 982 charges, or 8.9% of all national origin charges, in FY 2012, an increase of 46.6%.

The charge data shows the following trends rank-ordered by the number of national origin charges filed from FY 2008 to FY 2012:

FY 2008

FY 2009

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

Hispanic/Latino

Hispanic/Latino

Hispanic/Latino

Hispanic/Latino

Hispanic/Latino

American/Other

American/Other

American/Other

American/Other

American/Other

Asian

Asian

Asian

Asian

Asian

Middle Eastern

African

African

African

African

Caribbean

Middle Eastern

Caribbean

Middle Eastern

Middle Eastern

African

Caribbean

Middle Eastern

Caribbean

Caribbean

European

European

European

European

European

Analysis of the charge data shows that charging parties who file national origin charges commonly allege intersectional discrimination. Intersectional discrimination is when a charging party alleges discrimination on more than one covered basis. For example, Hispanic/Latino charging parties who alleged national origin discrimination during the 10 year period also alleged gender as the most frequently alleged additional basis. Age and race were the next most frequently alleged additional bases of Hispanic/Latino charging parties during the period.

Middle Eastern charging parties alleged religious discrimination as an additional basis in more than 30% of their charges during the 10 year period. Moreover, while the EEOC saw a 250% increase in the number of religion-based discrimination charges involving Muslims in the initial months after September 11, 2001, the EEOC has seen a consistent number of charges filed by charging parties who are Muslim, Arab, Afghani, Middle Eastern or South Asian, or perceived to be, alleging post-9/11 backlash employment discrimination in the years that followed, with discharge alleged in 59% and harassment in 43% of such charges.

Asian charging parties alleged race, age and gender as the most frequent intersectional bases during the 10 year period in order of descending frequency. Caribbean charging parties alleged race as the most commonly alleged intersectional basis followed by color and age. African charging parties alleged race as the most commonly alleged intersectional basis followed by religion, color and gender since FY 2008. Finally, European charging parties alleged age, gender and race as the most commonly alleged intersectional bases since FY 2008.

National Origin Discrimination in the Federal Sector

In the federal sector, EEOC adjudicates discrimination complaints and coordinates the federal government's equal employment opportunity programs. Approximately 6.4% of federal sector discrimination complaints between FY 1998 and FY 2011 contained at least one allegation of discrimination based on Hispanic national origin and about 6.8% contained at least one allegation of discrimination based on a national origin other than Hispanic. During the same period, in EEOC's federal sector hearings program, about 4.5% of federal sector discrimination findings and "merit factor" settlements by EEOC's Administrative Judges (AJs) contained the basis of National Origin-Hispanic, and approximately 6.3% of AJ findings of discrimination and "merit factor" settlements contained the basis of National Origin-Other. Discrimination based on National Origin-Hispanic was found in about 3% of all appellate findings, and discrimination based on National Origin-Other was found in about 4% of all appellate findings. During the period from FY 2007 through FY 2012, 12 appellate decisions were issued finding discrimination based on National Origin-Hispanic and 21 appellate decisions were issued finding discrimination based on National Origin-Other. The top three issues in these findings of discrimination were promotion (14), non-sexual harassment (8), and discipline (8).

Starting in FY 2008, the Office of Federal Operations (OFO) began collecting data on additional bases involving National Origin, including Arab, Afghani or Middle-Eastern; East Indian; and Mexican. OFO has issued 23 appellate merit decisions containing the basis of National Origin-Arab, Afghani or Middle-Eastern; 28 merit decisions containing the basis of National Origin-East Indian; and 55 merit decisions containing the basis of National Origin-Mexican.

EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Priorities

In December 2012, the Commission adopted its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) where it identified six national priorities:[17]

  • 1) Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring.
  • 2) Protecting Immigrant, Migrant and Other Vulnerable Workers
  • 3) Addressing Emerging and Developing Issues
  • 4) Enforcing Equal Pay Laws
  • 5) Preserving Access to the Legal System
  • 6) Preventing Harassment Through Systemic Enforcement and Targeted Outreach.

The purpose of the SEP is to focus and coordinate the EEOC's programs to have a sustainable impact in reducing and deterring discriminatory practices in the workplace.[18] With respect to the Commission's priority to "Protect Immigrant, Migrant and Other Vulnerable Workers," the EEOC targets disparate pay, job segregation, harassment, trafficking and discriminatory policies affecting vulnerable workers who may be unaware of their rights under the equal employment laws, or reluctant or unable to exercise them.[19]

The Commission recognizes that this priority is vital to fulfilling its mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination. To fully serve this population, the EEOC understands that it must ensure language capacity so that individuals with limited English proficiency can meaningfully access the EEOC. This past year, the Commission revised its Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plan entitled "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency," which was first implemented in 2000 in accordance with Executive Order 13166. [20] The Executive Order requires, among other things, that federal departments and agencies examine delivery of services to people with limited or no English proficiency and determine how to ensure meaningful access to these services.[21] The Commission's LEP plan sets forth the EEOC's activities for ensuring that individuals with limited English proficiency can meaningfully access our services.[22] To that end, the Commission created a Spanish-language version of our public website.[23] The EEOC website also has information regarding the laws the Commission enforces in seven different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. In addition, the EEOC has translated several publications into various languages, including fact sheets on national origin discrimination and employment rights of immigrants. This past year, the EEOC launched a Twitter account for Spanish speakers to follow news and information about the EEOC.[24]

The EEOC employs several hundred bilingual and multilingual employees in various capacities nationwide. For those individuals who want to file a charge with the EEOC but are not fluent in English, EEOC's bilingual staff conducts the intake interview in the individual's native language or seeks translation services to assist with the interview and thus be able to obtain the information needed to draft a charge. Almost all of our offices include personnel fluent in Spanish, and several offices also include employees conversant in some of the languages spoken by significant portions of the larger local LEP communities such as Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog and Hindi. The EEOC has identified Language Assistance Officers (LAO) in each district office to serve as points of contact for office staff when language assistance is needed. They facilitate the provision of language assistance to individuals with limited English proficiency. The LAOs also help with EEOC staff trainings on issues related to the LEP community, including cross-cultural trainings.

EEOC Immigrant Worker Team

Over the last two decades, EEOC district offices sometimes faced challenges building internal capacity to keep pace with the changing demographics within their districts. In 2010, the Office of General Counsel staff began discussions regarding the challenges faced by the district offices in addressing national origin and immigration-related employment discrimination issues, which often arose due to internal capacity limitations. The General Counsel subsequently convened a work group composed of regional attorneys to examine this issue and provide recommendations on how the Commission might best address them. From those recommendations emerged two key principles which the Immigrant Worker Team was ultimately based on. First, there was a recognized need for the EEOC to build "nationwide" capacity to address issues related to the immigrant community. This meant sharing best practices developed by certain district offices that demonstrated innovative leadership in this area with other district offices encountering challenges growing out of a diverse and nationwide immigrant stream. Second, there was recognition that the issues affecting the immigrant community needed to be addressed across agency functions such as through public education and outreach, development of policy and guidance as well as in investigations, mediation, conciliation, and litigation. This cross-functional approach was borrowed in part from the Commission's work post 9/11 and is now a central tenet of the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

During this same time period, the Office of Field Programs convened a task force to explore the issue of human trafficking and make recommendations on how the Commission should address that issue. Those recommendations were submitted to Chair Berrien and ultimately were incorporated into the work plan of the Immigrant Worker Team.

In the summer of 2011, Chair Berrien established the Immigrant Worker Team and designated former Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru to lead the Team. Commissioner Ishimaru designated me as the Lead Coordinator. After Commissioner Ishimaru's departure from the EEOC, the Chair designated General Counsel David Lopez to lead the IWT.

The Immigrant Worker Team is comprised of approximately twenty-five EEOC staff across EEOC programs with expertise and interest in discrimination issues affecting immigrant workers. The main objective of the Immigrant Worker Team is to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for EEOC to address the issues affecting workers of foreign national origin, including issues related to human trafficking, migrant workers, and immigrant workers. The team concept is intended to provide an interactive framework in which team members gather information and input from their EEOC colleagues and act as resources on issues, practices and strategies. The team concept also promotes increased information sharing and coordination across programs to enable the EEOC to carry out its mission and better serve these vulnerable populations.

Since its inception in 2011, the Immigrant Worker Team has performed various tasks including compiling demographic information by district to be used for targeted enforcement and public education efforts to foreign born workers and compiling various power point presentations and other training materials pertaining to immigrant workers for distribution and use by EEOC staff. The Team also made recommendations regarding the internal training needs for staff, reviewed internal tracking programs and evaluated their effectiveness. It reviewed and made recommendations with respect to proposed revision of the EEOC's 2002 compliance manual section on national origin discrimination, and other policy issues affecting immigrant workers. Members of the Immigrant Worker Team have been instrumental in providing advice and guidance to agency leadership and enforcement staff, as well as to trial attorneys who are investigating and/or litigating cases involving immigrant workers. In addition, as you may be aware, the EEOC is a U Nonimmigrant Visa ("U visa") certifying agency and has an established protocol for certifying such visas.[25] The U visa is set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.[26] These cases typically arise in the course of EEOC's investigation of Title VII violations, including some forms of sexual harassment and other conduct that may violate both Title VII and criminal laws.[27] In 2013, the Immigrant Worker Team contributed to recommendations to make the EEOC's U visa certifying procedures more efficient.

The IWT has also worked with external stakeholders to identify areas of collaboration, such as targeted outreach to a specific immigrant population, and have provided trainings to their staff and/or members on issues such as national origin discrimination, human trafficking and retaliation. Likewise, the Team has worked extensively on strengthening the EEOC's relationship with other federal agencies, such as Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration Related Employment Practices (OSC), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS), in order to maximize resources and share information pertaining to issues involving national origin discrimination and/or immigrant workers. For example, OSC and EEOC are currently developing the curriculum for a series of webinar trainings on national origin discrimination. Also, members of the Immigrant Worker Team and DOL staff have convened meetings to share information related to litigation strategies as well as the implementation of U visa certification procedures.

EEOC Combats National Origin Discrimination Through Litigation

The Commission's litigation docket highlights the wide-ranging issues that arise when litigating cases challenging national origin discrimination.[28] The EEOC has had great success in resolving cases on behalf of Hispanic, African, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Pacific Islander workers and has successfully fought discrimination in several key industries that employ low wage workers or immigrant workers, such as the agricultural industry, health care industry, service sector and manufacturing industries. These cases include:

  • EEOC v. Central California Foundation for Health d/b/a Delano Regional Medical Center,[29] where the Commission alleged that Filipino-American hospital workers were subjected to national origin discrimination when they were the targets of harassing comments, undue scrutiny and discipline particularly when speaking with a Filipino accent or speaking in Tagalog or Ilocano. The case was resolved for $975,000 and extensive injunctive relief.[30]
  • EEOC v. Mesa Systems,[31] where the Commission alleged that Defendant, a moving and storage company, subjected Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islander employees to derogatory slurs and a restrictive language policy based on their national origin. This case was resolved for $450,000 and injunctive relief, including training, postings and a letter of apology from the company.[32]
  • EEOC v. DHL Global,[33] where the Commission alleged that workers of Mexican, Salvadoran and Puerto Rican heritage were subjected to taunts and derogatory name calling such as "wetback," "beaner," "stupid Mexican" and "Puerto Rican b---h." This case was resolved for $201,000 in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[34]
  • EEOC v. LFC Agricultural,[35] where the Commission alleged that a class of Haitian production workers were subjected to derogatory comments such as "stupid," "cannibals," and "pinche [f-----g] Haitian " based on their national origin. They were also subjected to retaliation, including discipline and termination. This case was resolved for $84,000 in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[36]
  • EEOC v. Express Services,[37] where the Commission alleged that a Guatemalan-born, naturalized U.S. Citizen, was terminated because of her national origin when Defendant refused to accept her U.S. passport as proof of eligibility to work and instead required her to provide a copy of a U.S. birth certificate. This case was resolved for $42,500 in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[38]
  • EEOC v. Fremont Toyota,[39] where the Commission alleged that a class of Afghani-American salesmen were subjected to national origin discrimination when they were singled out at a staff meeting, were called "terrorists," and were threatened with violence. The Commission further alleged that they were subsequently retaliated against and constructively discharged. This case was resolved for $400,000 and injunctive relief.[40]
  • EEOC v. Faribault Foods Inc.,[41] where the Commission alleged that a class of Hispanic workers was discriminated against based on their race and national origin with respect to hiring, promotion, job assignments, testing, discipline and discharge. Defendant, a food processing company, utilized an English proficiency test, which was not justified by business necessity for the positions at issue. This case was resolved for $900,000 and injunctive relief.[42]
  • EEOC v. Rugo Stone LLC,[43] where the Commission alleged that an assistant project manager of Pakistani origin was subjected to derogatory comments by managers due to his national origin (Pakistani), religion (Islam), and color (Brown). This case was resolved for $40,000 in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[44]
  • EEOC v. Tanimura & Antle,[45]where the Commission alleged that charging party, a female farmworker, was subjected to quid pro quo sexual harassment and retaliation. The EEOC further alleged that a class of farmworkers was subjected to egregious sexual harassment and/or retaliation by Defendant's management. Defendant, the largest lettuce grower in the world, denied the allegations. This case was resolved for $1.855 million in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[46] This case was significant because it demonstrated that the federal EEO laws protect farmworkers.
  • EEOC v. University of Incarnate Word (UIW),[47] where the Commission alleged that a class of Latino housekeepers was subjected to an unlawful English-only rule and harassed due to their national origin. This case was resolved for $2.4 million in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[48] This settlement was and continues to be the largest known monetary resolution of a lawsuit concerning an English-only rule in the workplace.
  • EEOC v. Woodbine Healthcare Center [49] where the Commission alleged that a class of Filipino registered nurses on H-1 visas were subjected to national origin discrimination with respect to wages, assignments, and other terms and conditions of employment as compared to U.S.-born Caucasian nurses. This case was resolved for $2.1 million in monetary relief and injunctive relief. [50]
  • EEOC v. Grace Culinary Systems, Inc. and Townsend Culinary, Inc.,[51] where the Commission alleged that a class of Latinas, primarily Central American immigrants, were subjected to unwanted groping and explicit requests for sexual favors by male managers and co-workers over several years at a food processing plant. This case was resolved for $1 million in monetary relief and injunctive relief.[52]

National Origin Discrimination in the Context of Human Trafficking

Another issue that arises in the context of national origin discrimination is human trafficking. When force, fraud, or coercion is used to compel labor or exploit workers, traffickers and employers may be violating not only criminal laws but also the anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC.[53] In particular, laws such as Title VII which prohibits discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion and sex, may apply in trafficking cases if an employer's conduct is directed at an individual and/or group of individuals based on a protected category. This discrimination may include harassment, different terms and conditions of employment as well as retaliation against workers for exercising their rights under the anti-discrimination laws.

Trafficking cases often involve discrimination on the basis of national origin. Even when employees are legally brought into this country, employers may discriminate on the basis of national origin through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. This discrimination may include harassment and setting different terms and conditions of employment. It also may include retaliation against workers for exercising their rights under the anti-discrimination laws by threatening them with or subjecting them to suspension from work, deportation, physical harm, or fraud. In trafficking cases, it is not unusual for employers to maintain segregated jobs, pay unequal wages, or deduct unreasonable amounts from paychecks in these situations.

The EEOC has had success in protecting these vulnerable workers. For example, in Chellen and EEOC v. John Pickle Company, Inc.,[54] the EEOC alleged that approximately 52 skilled Indian workers were paid less than minimum wage ($1 - $3.17/hour), restrained in substandard living conditions, and subjected to harsher conditions than the Caucasian, U.S. born workers. The court entered judgment against John Pickle and his company finding them liable for over $1.3 million in damages - including back pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VII for work done and compensatory and punitive damages. This was a key victory for the EEOC because it established precedent with regard to the application of Title VII, i.e., national origin discrimination and retaliation, in situations where there is evidence of forced labor and inhumane working conditions. Following the Pickle case, the EEOC resolved another human trafficking case, EEOC v. Trans Bay Steel,[55] for approximately $1 million and a three year consent decree. In that case, the EEOC alleged that Trans Bay Steel had violated Title VII by subjecting a class of Thai welders (contracted under H-2B visas and recruited to work in California) to national origin harassment and disparate treatment. These workers were confined to cramped apartments without any electricity, water or gas, had their passports confiscated, and were forced to work 14-hour days/6 days a week without pay.[56]

EEOC Enforcement Actions Addressing Post-9/11 Backlash

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the EEOC saw a 250 percent increase in the number of religion-based discrimination charges involving Muslims and persons of Middle Eastern descent.[57] As a result, the EEOC began a targeted outreach campaign aimed at educating employers, civil rights organizations, and members of religious groups on employee and employer rights and responsibilities under the law and how to prevent religious and national origin discrimination. The Commission created fact sheets on immigrant employee rights and discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or country of origin,[58] translated the fact sheets into Farsi, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Arabic and distributed the material on wallet cards and in other user-friendly formats. In addition, since September 11, the Commission has filed more than 80 lawsuits alleging backlash discrimination, many of which concerned harassment involving national origin and ethnicity.[59] These post 9/11 cases are a subset of the Commission's litigation docket involving national origin discrimination.[60]

EEOC's Outreach Efforts

The EEOC has a statutory mandate to educate the public and provide outreach and technical assistance to facilitate voluntary compliance with the laws the Commission enforces. Therefore, EEOC staff conducts extensive outreach to various stakeholder groups, including employer and employee communities. In the past fiscal year, the Commission focused its outreach events on the national priorities established by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan. With respect to priority number 2: Protecting Immigrant, Migrant and Other Vulnerable Workers, EEOC staff participated in over 1,600 events nationwide and reached approximately 105,000 stakeholders. In addition, several of those events were conducted in a language other than English and covered the topic of national origin discrimination.

For example, the Dallas district conducted approximately 60 events in Spanish to various advocacy groups. Of those, approximately 30 were on the topic of national origin discrimination.

Staff from the Chicago District office provided information and training on EEO laws, including national origin discrimination, to various stakeholders such as the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, an association whose membership employs a large percentage of immigrant workers, and the Lutheran Social Service and Hands Across the World, advocacy groups representing the Muslim and Somali communities.

The San Francisco District Office conducted a webinar on basic EEO information to approximately 25 agricultural growers from the Washington Farm Labor Association. The Los Angeles District Office (LADO) also conducted outreach on EEO laws to the Nisei Farmers League, an association of agricultural growers in Fresno, California.

At its Las Vegas Technical Assistance Program, the LADO conducted a workshop entitled, "A New Landscape: Changing Demographics, Immigration and National Origin Discrimination," focused on national origin and immigrant worker issues. This workshop was attended by approximately 80 employer representatives. Similarly, at the Excel Conference, held in Denver, Colorado, EEOC staff conducted a workshop on national origin discrimination issues for approximately 40 employer representatives.

All of the district offices participate in "Labor Rights Week" in partnership with the Mexican Consulates and other federal agencies such as the Department of Labor. EEOC staff provides EEO information to the public in Spanish, including written materials in Spanish that describe the laws enforced by the EEOC. In addition, several staff nationwide discussed national origin discrimination when interviewed by Spanish-language radio and/or television stations. A staff person from the Tampa Field Office, for example, appeared in a local television program, "Mi Gente" ("My People"), to discuss in Spanish the laws enforced by the EEOC. This program was aired 3 times in one month and was well received by the public.

This past year, EEOC staff participated in the PBS documentary entitled "Rape in the Fields," which aired in both English and Spanish nationwide. The documentary highlighted several key cases litigated and settled by the EEOC involving farmworkers. EEOC staff were interviewed on camera, and provided background and technical assistance for this documentary.

Additionally, EEOC staff has participated in various anti-human trafficking task forces nationwide and has provided education and training to stakeholders on this issue. In 2010, the EEOC was invited to join the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), a cabinet level task force established to coordinate government-wide efforts and discuss new initiatives pertaining to efforts to combat human trafficking, and its working group, the Senior Policy Operations Group (SPOG). The EEOC has been an active participant in this work group and is currently involved in the development of the "Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking." This plan is the first of its kind and is intended to coordinate and strengthen services throughout the federal government for trafficking victims in the United States.[61] In 2011, the Commission held a public meeting on the issue of combating human trafficking and forced labor.[62]

The EEOC has also continued its efforts to educate the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community about their rights in the workplace. At the turn of the 21st Century, the EEOC launched an initiative to protect employment rights of Asian Americans.[63] Since then, the Commission has further expanded its efforts to include the AAPI community, in light of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).[64] The WHIAAPI "works to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs where they remain underserved."[65] The Executive Order establishing the WHIAPPI created the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the Federal Interagency Working Group.[66] Commissioner Yang represents the EEOC in the Federal Interagency Working Group. In addition, the White House established a Regional Interagency Working Group which is currently co-chaired by the EEOC. The Commission has developed a strategic plan to reach out to the AAPI community and ensure access to our services. In addition, the Commission has trained its staff on issues affecting the AAPI community.

In the federal sector, the EEOC has conducted outreach and training, participated in interagency workgroups, and issued reports to assist federal agencies in administering their EEO programs and eliminating discriminatory barriers to employment. In 2008, the EEOC issued a "Report on the Hispanic Employment Challenge in the Federal Government."[67] In 2009, the EEOC issued the "Asian American and Pacific Islander Work Group Report,"[68] and in 2012, the Commission issued "A Practical Guide to Common Issues and Possible Barriers Which Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Employees May Face in the Federal Workforce."[69]

CONCLUSION

As you can see, the Commission has made significant strides in addressing the issues that arise from national origin discrimination. Our meeting today comes at an opportune time given the rapid changes in the ethnic makeup of America's workforce. The Commission remains committed to meeting the new challenges that lie ahead and welcomes the other speakers' and stakeholders' input and collaboration on this issue.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.



[1] The term "minorities" as referenced in this document includes African Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and others classified as being of multiple racial origin.

[2] See U.S. Dep't of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Current Population Survey (CPS), Data Retrieval: Labor Force Statistics, Table A-2, Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Race, Sex, and Age (Not Seasonally Adjusted), http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab2.htm, Table A-3, Employment Status of the Hispanic or Latino Population by Sex and Age (Not Seasonally Adjusted), http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab3.htm. (Note: in 1990 the BLS did not separately track the "Alaska Natives" population. Instead it was included in the "other" category). See also U.S. Dep't of labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Monthly Labor Review, Employment Outlook 2010-2020 (Jan. 2012), Table 4, Civilian Labor Force by Age, Gender, Race, and Ethnicity, 1990, 2000, 2010 and projected 2020, http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2012/01/mlr201201.pdf (for 1990 Asian population data).

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Neither the U.S. Census Bureau nor the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data regarding the percentage of the minority civilian labor force who speak a language other than English. Such data is only collected for the minority population as a whole.

[6] See U.S. Census Bureau, Data Source: 2000 Decennial Census Data, Summary File 4 (SF 4), Table DP-2, Profile of Selected Social Characteristics.

[7] See U.S. Census Bureau, Data Source: Population of 2010 and 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) 1 year, Table 50201, Selected Population Profile.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] See Nathan P. Walters and Edward N. Trevelyan, The Newly Arrived Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 2010 at 2, figure 1, U.S. Census Bureau (Nov. 2011), http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-16.pdf (reporting that of the foreign-born population that arrived in the United States starting in 2008, 40.3% were from Asia and 31.3% were from Central and South America).

[11] See Thomas Gryn and Christine Gambino, The Foreign-Born from Asia: 2011 at 1, U.S. Census Bureau (Oct. 2012), http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/acsbr11-06.pdf.

[12] See Sharon E. Ennis, Meranys Rios-Vargas and Nora G. Albert, The Hispanic Population: 2010 at 2 U.S. Census Bureau (May 2011), http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf (Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, which was four times the growth in the total population at 10 percent.)

[13] See Immigration Policy Center, American Immigration Council, African Immigrants in America: A Demographic View (June 2012), http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/african-immigrants-america-demographic-overview.

[14] See Stephen A. Camarota, Immigrants in the United States: A Profile of America's Foreign-born Population at 13 - 15 (Aug. 2012), http://www.cis.org/2012-profile-of-americas-foreign-born-population.

[15] Id.

[16] From 2002 through 2012, the Commission collected national origin information from charging parties in the categories of Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern national origins. In 2008, the Commission also began collecting national origin data in the categories of African, Caribbean and European, and reclassified the "other" category to "American/Other."

[17] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Strategic Enforcement Plan FY 2013 - 2016, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/sep.cfm; See also Press Release, EEOC Approves Strategic Enforcement Plan, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-18-12a.cfm. Prior to adopting the Strategic Enforcement Plan, the Commission adopted its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 - 2016 which establishes a framework for achieving the EEOC's mission. See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012- 2016, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_12to16.cfm.

[18] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Strategic Enforcement Plan FY 2013 - 2016, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/sep.cfm.

[19] Id.

[20] See Executive Order 13166, 65 Fed. Reg. 50,121 (Aug. 16, 2000), Improving Access To Persons with Limited English Profiency, http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/cor/Pubs/eolep.php; See also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Plan of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/lep.cfm.

[21] See also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Plan of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/lep.cfm.

[22] Id.

[23] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC Launches Spanish-Language Website to Enhance its Customer Service (Jan. 2005), http://www.eeoc.gov//eeoc/newsroom/release/1-11-05.cfm

[24] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC Announces New Twitter Handle in Spanish, YouTube Channel (Mar. 2013) http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-20-13.cfm

[25] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, EEOC Procedures: Requesting EEOC Certification For U Nonimmigrant Classification (U Visa) Petitions In EEOC Cases (2013), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/u_visa.cfm.

[27] To certify a U Visa petition, the EEOC must, among other things, conduct an inquiry into whether the individual seeking U visa status has been the victim of "qualifying" criminal activity that is related to unlawful employment discrimination alleged in a charge of discrimination or otherwise covered by the statutes the EEOC enforces. In addition, among other things, the victim must be helpful to the EEOC's investigation.

[28] The Commission mediates and/or conciliates a large percentage of the charges it investigates. In FY 2012, the litigation docket was less than 2% of the entire EEOC charges filed nationwide. See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Commission, Enforcement and Litigation Statistics, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/index.cfm.

[29] No. 10-CV-01492-LJO-JLT (E.D. Cal. filed Aug. 18, 2010). The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) intervened in the EEOC's lawsuit and co-litigated this case with the Commission.

[30] See Proposed Consent Decree, No. 10-CV-01492-LJO-JLT (E.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2012), ECF No. 93; Order to Approve and Enter Consent Decree, No. 10-CV-01492-LJO-JLT (E.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2012), ECF No. 94. See also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Delano Regional Medical Center to Pay Nearly $1 Million in EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit (Sept. 2012), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-17-12a.cfm.

[31] No. 11-cv-01201-RJS-BCW (D. Utah filed Dec. 23, 2011). The legal framework of the Commission's case against Mesa Systems was established by City of Altus v. Maldonado, 433 F.3d 1294 (10th Cir. 2006). The EEOC filed an amicus brief in Maldonado and the 10th Circuit followed, in large part, the arguments and reasoning of the EEOC.

[32] Consent Decree, 11-cv-01201-RJS-BCW (D. Utah Sept. 27, 2013), ECF No. 83; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Mesa Systems to Pay $450,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit (Sept. 2013), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-30-13a.cfm.

[33] No. 3:11-cv-02581 (N.D. Tex. filed Sept. 30, 2011).

[34] Consent Decree, No. 3:11-cv-02581 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 30, 2012), ECF No. 34; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, DHL Global Forwarding Pays $201,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit (Dec. 2012), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-3-12.cfm.

[35] No. 2:09-cv-00636-JES-DNF (M.D. Fla. filed Sep. 24, 2009); see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Immokalee Packing Companies Sued by EEOC for Discriminating Against Haitians (Sept. 2009), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-25-09b.cfm.

[36] Order on Consent Decree, No. 2:09-cv-00636-JES-DNF (M.D. Fla. May 31, 2011), ECF No. 80.

[37] No. 6:11-cv-00279-HFF-BHH (D.S.C. filed Feb. 3, 2011).

[38] Consent Decree, 6:11-cv-00279-HFF-BHH (D.S.C. May. 31, 2011), ECF No. 19; see also Amended Consent Decree, 6:11-cv-00279-HFF-BHH (D.S.C. June 10, 2011), ECF No. 21; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Temporary Staffing Firm and Client Company To Pay $42,500 to Settle EEOC National Origin Lawsuit (June 2011), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-6-11a.cfm.

[39] No. 11-4131-CRB (N.D. Cal. filed Aug. 23, 2011).

[40] Consent Decree, No. 11-4131-CRB (N.D. Cal. Aug. 3, 2012), ECF No. 31; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Fremont Toyota Pays $400,000 to Settle EEOC's Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit (Aug. 2012), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/8-7-12.cfm.

[41] No. 07-cv-3976-RHK-AJB (D. Minn. filed Sep. 14, 2007).

[42] Consent Decree, No. 07-cv-3976 -RHK-AJB (D. Minn. Mar. 28, 2008), ECF No. 15 (mandating that the injunctive relief would include training in English and Spanish, establishment of Diversity Committee, tuition reimbursement for employees wishing to improve English language skills).

[43] No. 1:11-cv-915 (E.D. Va. filed Aug. 30, 2011).

[44] Consent Decree, No. 1:11-cv-915 (E.D. Va. March 6, 2012), ECF No. 15; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Rugo Stone to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin, Religion and Color Bias Lawsuit (Mar. 2012), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-7-12b.cfm.

[45] No. 5:99-cv-20088-JW (N.D. Cal. filed Feb. 5, 1999).

[46] Consent Decree, No. 99-cv-20088-JW (N.D. Cal. Feb. 9, 1999) (parties agreed to establish a claims process where potential victims would submit their claim forms and EEOC would determine their eligibility for a settlement award. Among the injunctive relief agreed to by parties was the development of a training program in Spanish for all employees. Training was conducted in all defendant's facilities); see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC and Tanimura & Antle Settle Sexual Harassment Case in the Agricultural Industry (Feb. 1999), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/archive/2-23-99.html.

[47] No. 5:99-cv-01090-OLG (W.D. Tex. Filed Sept. 30, 1999).

[48] Consent Decree, No. SA-99-CV-1090OG (W. D. Tex. April 19, 2001): See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC Settles English-Only Suit For $2.44 Million Against University of Incarnate Word (Apr. 2001), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/archive/4-20-01.html.

[49] No. 97-cv-01607-SOW (W.D. Mo. filed Dec. 15, 1997) (EEOC intervened in this case on May 15, 1998).

[50] Consent Decree, No. 97-1607-CV-W-SOW (W.D. Mo. Mar. 8, 1999); see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC Announces $2.1 Million Settlement of Wage Discrimination Suit for Class of Filipino Nurses (Mar. 1999), http://ww.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/archive/3-2-99.html.

[51] No. 8:98-cv-00284-AW (D. Md. filed Jan. 30, 1998).

[52] Consent Decree No. 98-cv-00284-AW (D. Md. June 27, 2000), EFC No. 142; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC Obtains $1 Million For Low-Wage Workers Who Were Sexually Harassed at Food Processing Plant (June 2000), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-1-00.cfm

[53] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Human Trafficking, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/interagency/trafficking.cfm.

[54] 446 F. Supp. 2d 1247 (N.D. Okla. Aug. 22, 2006) (order granting (1) liquidated damages under the FLSA and (2) compensatory damages and prejudgment interest under Title VII); see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Judge Orders John Pickle Co. to Pay $1.24 Million to 52 Foreign Workers in 'Human Trafficking' Case, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-26-06.cfm. Two months later, the court issued the final judgment that incorporated this order and a previous order from 2004. This final judgment affirmed the 2006 order and granted an even higher amount of total damages to the plaintiffs. See No.02-CV-0085-CVE-FHM (Oct. 16, 2006), ECF No. 214.

[55] No. 2:06-cv-07766-CAS-JTL (C.D. Cal. filed June 12, 2007).

[56] Consent Decree, No. 2:06-cv-07766-CAS-JTL (C.D. Cal. Dec. 8, 2006), ECF No. 4; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-8-06.cfm. In the Consent Decree, Trans Bay guaranteed future employment to the claimants, provided for relocation costs, housing and a housing stipend, paid tuition and books at a local college for training, among other benefits for the claimants. Trans Bay also agreed to train its employees on EEO law.

[57] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n , What You Should Know About the EEOC and Religious and National Origin Discrimination Involving the Muslim, Sikh, Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian Communities (Sept. 2011), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/religion_national_origin_9-11.cfm

[58] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Employment Rights of Immigrants Under Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/immigrants-facts.cfm, and Employment Discrimination Based on Religion, Ethnicity, or Country of Origin, http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/fs-relig_ethnic.cfm.

[59] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Selected List of Pending and Resolved Cases Alleging Religious and National Origin Discrimination Involving the Muslim, Sikh, Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian Communities (Sept. 2013), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/litigation/selected/religion_nationalorigin.cfm.

[60] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n., Selected List of Pending and Resolved Cases Involving National Origin and/or Immigrant Workers from 2005 to the Present (Jan. 2013), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/litigation/selected/national_origin_immigrant_workers.cfm.

[61] See U.S. Dep't of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, http://www.state.gov/j/tip/; see also Admin. for Children and Families, Featured Initiative: [ARCHIVED] Coordination, Collaboration, Capacity, Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States (2013-2017), https://acfstrongertogether.ideascale.com.

[62] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, Commission to Meet on Combating Human Trafficking and Forced Labor (Jan. 14, 2011), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-14-11.cfm; see also U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Meeting of Jan. 19, 2011 - Human Trafficking and Forced Labor, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/1-19-11/index.cfm.

[63] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Press Release, EEOC and Workplace Partners Launch New Initiative to Protect Employment Rights of Asian Americans (Aug. 2003), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/8-01-03.cfm

[64] See Exec. Order No. 13515, 74 Fed. Reg. 53,635 (Oct. 19, 2009)

[65] Id.

[66] Id.

[67] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, The Federal Hispanic Work Group, Report on the Hispanic Employment Challenge in the Federal Government (Oct. 2008), http://eeoc.gov/federal/reports/hwg.html.

[68] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, Asian American and Pacific Islander Work Group Report to the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Dec. 2008), http://eeoc.gov/federal/reports/aapi.html.

[69] See U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, A Practical Guide to Addressing Common Issues and Possible Barriers Which Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander Employees May Face in the Federal Work Force (Sept. 2012), http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/aapi_practical_guide.cfm.