The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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National Origin Discrimination

Whether an employee or job applicant's ancestry is Mexican, Ukrainian, Filipino, Arab, American Indian, or any other nationality, he or she is entitled to the same employment opportunities as anyone else. EEOC enforces the federal prohibition against national origin discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which covers employers with fifteen (15) or more employees.

About National Origin Discrimination

National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because he or she comes from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination also means treating someone less favorably at work because of marriage or other association with someone of a particular nationality. Examples of violations covered under Title VII include:

Coverage of foreign nationals

Title VII and the other antidiscrimination laws prohibit discrimination against individuals employed in the United States, regardless of citizenship. However, relief may be limited if an individual does not have work authorization.


In Fiscal Year 2008, EEOC received 10,601 charges of national origin discrimination. Including charges from previous years, 8,498 charges were resolved, and monetary benefits for charging parties totaled $25.4 million (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).

This page was last modified on March 11, 2009.

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