National Origin Discrimination Austin, Texas Attorney
We expect to be judged not by the color of our skin or by our national origin, but by the content of our character and the quality of our work and expect our coworkers to treat us with fairness and respect. Sometimes, however, our expectations differ from reality.
National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because he/she comes from a particular place, because of his/her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he/she has a particular ethnic background.
Both federal and state employment laws expressly prohibit national origin from adversely impacting decisions to hire, fire, promote, demote, set compensation and other terms and conditions of employment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law which makes it illegal to discriminate or retaliate against or otherwise treat unfavorably, an employee or job applicant because that person is from a particular part of the world, or country, has an accent, is a certain ethnicity, or because that person appears to have a certain ethnic background. Additionally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also makes it illegal to discriminate against an applicant or employee because that person is married or has an association with a person of a certain National Origin, or if the person has a connection with any group or organization that is generally associated with a person of a certain National Origin.
Employers cannot institute workplace policies or practices that have a negative impact on people of a certain national origin, even if the policies are applied to everyone, if it is not job-related or essential to the function of the business. Similarly, employers cannot require English-only in the workplace unless speaking English is an essential element of the job. Further, harassment, by an employer, supervisor, or co-worker, based on an individual’s national origin is also prohibited by Title VII. It is important to note that isolated incidents, or off-hand comments or “jokes” are not considered harassment. Harassment exists when these incidents and comments become so frequent and severe that it creates a hostile work environment.
The person engaging in Discrimination may be a manager, supervisor, or a co-worker, a customer or client of the employer. Also, the person engaging in discriminatory behavior can be of the same national origin as the victim – this is still considered discrimination under the law. Also, an individual who has suffered from national origin discrimination does not have to be of that national origin because the discrimination occurs when a person takes discriminatory action based on an assumed or imputed national origin of the individual.
Any adverse action against you based on your national origin is illegal. Whether an employee or job applicant’s ancestry is Mexican, Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Dominican, Polish, Irish, Russian, Ukrainian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Iraqi, Arabic, American Indian, or any other nationality, that person is entitled to the same employment opportunities as anyone else. Here at The Law Office of Elena Vlady, we also protect the legal rights of workers from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, the Eastern Europe or Latin America.
If you believe you or someone you love has been a victim of race of national origin discrimination, call our law office today for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL initial consultation.