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EEOC following up on promise to crack down on Hispanic bias

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The EEOC announced in 2003 that it would work to counteract workplace discrimination against Hispanic employees, and the agency is making good on its promise.

EEOC chief Cari Dominquez, who is Cuban-American, is actively targeting discrimination against Hispanic employees. Examples: discrimination based on accent, lack of English fluency (unless fluency is required for that job) and employees' use of a foreign language at work. In particular, the EEOC is targeting employers that require employees to speak only English at work at all times.

Recent case: The EEOC just settled, for $1.25 million, a national-origin discrimination class-action lawsuit it had filed against an aerospace company on behalf of 12 Hispanic employees. The employees complained that the company turned a blind eye to harassment and a hostile work environment. In addition to the settlement fee, the company must hire an EEO coordinator, train employees and supervisors on job-discrimination laws and set up procedures to handle future complaints promptly and fairly. (EEOC v. Hamilton Sundstrand, EEOC Denver Office, May 20, 2005)

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