As part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) year-long 50th anniversary celebration, the agency has released American Experiences versus American Expectations, a report that illustrates the significant changes to the demographics of the American workforce since EEOC opened its doors in 1965. The report, which also highlights continuing challenges in our workforce demographics, uses EEO-1 data to track employment participation from 1966 to 2013 for several demographic groups, including Hispanics.
Beginning in 1966, all employers with 100 or more employees (lower thresholds apply to federal contractors) have been required by law to file an Employer Information Report EEO-1 with EEOC. In fiscal year 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, approximately 70,000 employers filed reports indicating the composition of their workforce by sex, race/ethnicity, and major job categories. (For more information about the EEO-1 and job categories, please see http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/index.cfm.)
American Experiences versus American Expectations reveals several noteworthy trends concerning Hispanic experiences in the workforce:
By comparison, between 1966 and 2013, overall Hispanic participation rates in the workforce increased from 2.5 percent to 13.9 percent (2013 EEO-1 Indicators report). In 2013, the United States' 54 million Hispanics made up roughly 17 percent of the population. Between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, the number of Hispanics in the US increased by 1.1 million.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing, among other laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin in any aspect of employment. In FY 2014, national origin discrimination comprised 11 percent of the charges filed with EEOC under all the statutes the agency enforces. Of these charges, Hispanics filed 4,469. The issues most frequently alleged in these charges were discharge, harassment, and terms and conditions of employment.
Through its 53 offices nationwide, EEOC works to stop and remedy racial barriers to equal employment opportunity such as hiring discrimination and harassment. During FY 2014, EEOC staff resolved 9,768 charges of employment discrimination based on national origin and recovered over $31.4 million for individuals along with substantial changes to employer policies to remedy violations and prevent future discrimination-without litigation. When litigation has been necessary, EEOC has filed 216 lawsuits between FY 2003 and FY 2013 alleging discrimination involving Hispanics. The alleged discrimination included trafficking, harassment, and derogatory comments.
Among noteworthy EEOC resolutions on behalf of Hispanics are the following:
EEOC has an especially vigorous Hispanic outreach program. We strive to make Hispanics - and their employers - aware of their rights in the U.S. workforce, regardless of their work authorization status. Outreach and education among Hispanic workers can be challenging because of the language barrier and their belief that resisting discrimination will cause them to be arrested and/or deported on immigration issues. Additionally, EEOC provides outreach and education materials in Spanish and has bilingual staff and interpreter services available to assist throughout our process.
More information on national origin discrimination is at: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-nator.cfm
More information on anti-discrimination law and policies that affect immigrants is at: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/immigrants-facts.cfm