Federal agency EEOC considers Trump tweets potentially fireable offense

David Lopez, the former general counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, explains why Trump's controversial tweets on the four Democratic congresswomen is a discriminatory offense.
3:23 | 07/17/19

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Transcript for Federal agency EEOC considers Trump tweets potentially fireable offense
As the debate rages on Capitol Hill there's also debate playing out outside of Washington over how offensive the president's tweets. Really are and if you consider yourself a skeptic in that camp consider this the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The federal agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. Actually has as part of its guidelines that go home back to where you came from is a potentially fireball offense. For more on this I want to bring in a general former General Counsel longest serving General Counsel. Of the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission David Lopez he's now a dean at the Rutgers university law school in New Jersey David thanks so much for coming in. You know and it's in this debate we've heard so much effort people who say go back. To where you came from doesn't say anything about race literally. Doesn't say anything about ethnicity in yet. There is a history in this country that this is eight documented. Discriminatory phrase. Yes. And NB CE document some guidelines as opulent counselor and discrimination. One of the examples of that will use. As a comment that really conjunction with other comments could create a hostile work environment. I feel is important to remember is. This is very complex question legally here. Because when the president did is directed DD. Content of comments that war. Representatives. Elected democratically by other Americans and not act. Employees of the federal government however ask. Federal government. When president does. And his comments in his remarks released the tone for. The cap. Secretaries for all the managers did this in the government. And I think we have to all ask ourselves how would we bill. I'm here. Our boss made comments like this on an ongoing basis in it and yeah I. I'm going to nations. And and David is General Counsel for a long time add to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you certainly saw a number of employment discrimination cases in your day. How common. Were cases involving the phrase go back to where you came from did you actually see. Enforcement cases involving this exact phrase. Well we. Ali I'm simpler time comments that were designed to sue to exclude other. There individuals based on. They're racing counselor it's really important kind of contextualizing Nikkei. In hear the comment was directed at work people all twelve representatives who are America. One of whom his problem. Puerto Rico and other to Americans but all corner of them were Americans. And the congress certainly. You know appeared designed to be a way to sort of root exclude. Other individuals and make him and seemed like they were not part. Our American now. And I guess the bottom line is that in your day David debt if the average working American ever uttered that phrase in a workplace they could be liable. To some sort of discrimination charge popped possibly even lose their jobs said David Lopez for General Counsel. At the EEOC also dean now workers at a university law school thanks so much for that important our perspective.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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