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Employment Law

"Hispanic" Ethnicity Qualifies As National Origin Discrimination Under Title VII

In Espinoza v. Farah Manufacturing Co., 414 US 86 (1973), the United States Supreme Court recognized that national origin "refers to the country where a person was born, or, more broadly, the country from which his or her ancestors came." The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines national origin discrimination to include the denial of employment opportunities because of an individual's (or his ancestor's) place of origin "or because an individual has the physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group." 29 CFR Section 1606.1.

Recently, in Salas v. Wisconsin Dept of Corrections (7th Cir 07/18/2007), the 7th Circuit concluded that "[a]lthough the EEOC does not define the term 'national origin group,' Hispanics would qualify as such a group." Ultimately, however, the court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer on other grounds. 


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