EEOC Expands Limited English Proficiency Services

May 1, 2003 ( - The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is updating access, outreach and enforcement services to the limited English proficient (LEP) employer and employee communities.

>The five-pronged LEP Plan is being implemented in accordance with Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.   Among the requirements of the order is for federal agencies to examine delivery of services to people with limited or no English proficiency and determine how to ensure meaningful access to these services, according to an EEOC news release.

>Those five elements outlined in the LEP Plan are:

  • identifying persons and communities in need of language assistance
  • translating vital documents and appointing Language Assistance Officers at field offices
  • training field office staff and implementing LEP plans at the local level
  • conducting outreach and education campaigns to LEP communities
  • oversight by EEOC headquarters of local LEP plans and quarterly reports from the field.

>US Census Bureau data says foreign-born residents of the United States numbered 32.5 million last year, accounting for 11.5% of the projected population.   The majority of these foreign-born persons are of Hispanic and Asian origin with Mexico (36.4%) and Asia (25.5%) making up the largest communities.

>Further, Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the labor pool with a total US population in excess of 35 million. Of the 13 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, over seven million have limited English proficiency with up to 100 different languages spoken within these communities.

The full text of the LEP Plan is available online at .