Labor Force Composition Altered by Increased Immigration and Shifting Demographics
WASHINGTON - Cari M. Dominguez, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today announced the issuance of an updated agency-wide action plan to improve access, outreach and enforcement services to the limited English proficient (LEP) employer and employee communities. The LEP Plan, required by Executive Order, is part of the EEOC's broader efforts to reach out to key stakeholder groups and increase the agency's operational efficiency and effectiveness to better serve its customers. The full text of the revised LEP Plan is available online at www.eeoc.gov.
EEOC's LEP Plan was first issued in December 2000 in accordance with Executive Order 13166 entitled Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency. 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. In November 2002, the Department of Justice directed federal agencies to "review and update" their LEP Plans following the issuance of a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. affirming President Bush's commitment to the Executive Order.
"Shifting demographics and increased immigration continue to change the composition of our nation's workplace," said Chair Dominguez. "The Commission is responding to these trends by ensuring that all workers who call America home, regardless of English proficiency, fully understand their rights and recourses under the law."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, foreign-born residents of the United States numbered 32.5 million last year, accounting for 11.5% of the projected population - which is expected to grow in the coming years. Many of these foreign-born persons are of Hispanic and Asian origin - coming from Central America, including Mexico, (36.4%) and Asia (25.5%) - any may speak little or no English.
Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the labor pool with a total U.S. population exceeding 35 million. Of the 13 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, over seven million have limited English proficiency with up to 100 different languages spoken within these communities.
The EEOC's updated LEP Plan sets forth five elements of the Commission's continuing efforts to serve persons with limited English proficiency:
EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on April 30, 2003.
Return to Home Page