Q:

Why do job applications ask if you're Hispanic or Latino?

A:

Quick Answer

Employers that receive federal funding, such as public universities, ask about a job applicant's race and ethnicity, including whether or not he is Hispanic or Latino, to prove that they are not violating federal laws against workplace discrimination. These employers track such information to allow their human resources departments to track their success in hiring a racially and ethnically diverse group of employees.

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Full Answer

According to Vitae, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was formed in 1964 to enforce laws against discrimination in the workplace, continues to monitor employers that receive federal funding. As a result, many colleges, universities and government employers are required to share job applicant records with the commission.

The EEOC's website indicates that an employer that makes employment decisions that hinge on assumptions rooted in stereotypes concerning the abilities and characteristics of individuals based on their gender, religion, ethnic group, race or national origin is committing a violation of federal workplace discrimination laws.

According to the EEOC website, Congress created the commission to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which it also adopted in 1964. The commission has the authority to establish fair employment policy and to approve any litigation that pertains to workplace discrimination.

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