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EEOC Informal Discussion Letter

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members wrote the following informal discussion letter in response to an inquiry from a member of the public. This letter is intended to provide an informal discussion of the noted issue and does not constitute an official opinion of the Commission.

National Origin Classification

January 19, 2006

By E-mail


This responds to your inquiry about whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has an official position on the debate about whether a person of Portuguese descent should be considered to be Hispanic. The Commission does not have a position on that question. For purposes of filing a charge and obtaining relief for discrimination on the basis of, among other things, national origin, it is not necessary to make such a determination. A charge, for example, can be filed alleging discrimination based on national origin for being of Portuguese heritage.

We hope this information is helpful. You may also wish to visit our Web Page at


Yamil Jaskille
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Office of Legal Counsel
Attorney Advisor

This page was last modified on April 27, 2007.