The EEOC recently announced that its Phoenix District Office entered a Memorandum of Understanding with several consulates of Mexico in Arizona. The Agreement establishes a collaborative relationship between the EEOC and the Mexican consulates with the purpose of addressing issues and providing resources aimed at preventing employment discrimination involving Mexican nationals in the workplace.

As part of the Agreement, the EEOC will provide the Mexican consulates with Spanish-language materials “explaining the laws enforced by the EEOC.” Further, the EEOC will supply representatives to meet with Mexican nationals in Arizona for the purposes of disseminating information and conducting counseling regarding employment discrimination issues.

The Mexican consulates for Phoenix, Nogales, Tucson, Yuma, and Douglas, Arizona signed the Agreement. The Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and parts of New Mexico.

This collaboration and Agreement signals an agency emphasis on national origin discrimination that employers may want to note. In the EEOC's Fiscal Year 2011, 11.8 percent of the charges filed with the EEOC alleged national origin discrimination, a number that has been steadily increasing over the years

The full press release regarding the Memorandum of Understanding can be found here.