Are Trump’s Tweets Illegal Discrimination?

President Trump recently sent out a series of controversial tweets. In his statements, Trump targeted “progressive congresswomen,” which many have later interpreted to refer to Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. In this series of tweets, President Trump says that these congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Congresswoman Omar was born in Somalia, and the other three women mentioned were born in the United States. However, all four of the women are U.S. citizens. Many public figures have since denounced the president’s tweets, labeling them as racist and un-American.

President Trump’s Tweets May Be Illegal

Discrimination on the basis of national origin is illegal in the workplace. Since the president’s controversial tweets, many are turning to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) standards on what qualifies as discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC cites the phrase "go back to where you came from" as an example of the kind of language that can violate anti-discrimination employment laws. Other examples of potentially illegal comments include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent. In order for verbal comments about nationality to qualify as illegal discrimination, comments must also be “severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities." Some have pointed out that these laws do not apply to President Trump, since these congresswomen are not directly his employees.

The House Votes To Condemn President Trump’s Tweets

Last week, the House voted to formally condemn President Trump's offensive tweets. The House resolution condemned the tweets as "racist comments" which have "legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color." Notably, this resolution is the first time the House has formally denounced a president’s comments in more than 100 years. Some in the Senate have also been outspoken in criticizing the president’s comments. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia pointed out the violation in the EEOC’s standards when he said, “The EEOC cites ‘go back to where you came from’ as a classic form of discrimination that violates civil rights. The President’s bigoted words are so contrary to who we are as a country that we literally have laws against them.”

Seek Legal Assistance

If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance today. The Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel. You don’t pay unless we win.