The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cites the phrase President Trump recently used against four congresswomen as workplace harassment.
Lawmakers spent most of Tuesday hashing out whether to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist comment that four congresswomen of color should “go back” to their ancestral countries, but a federal agency has already made the decision for them.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has written specific rules that protect people, mostly immigrants, against employment discrimination on the basis of their national origin. The agency is responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
“Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities,” the commission said on its website to describe harassment based on national origin.
“Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ whether made by supervisors or co-workers,” it continued.
Trump and his followers insist he was not being racist when he tweeted Sunday that Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” after the lawmakers, all four American citizens, criticized him.