Protecting Your Rights Against National Origin Discrimination

What is National Origin Discrimination?

National origin discrimination cases in the workplace involve an employer that makes an employment decision based on real or perceived nationality. As a great melting pot of all cultures and ethnicities, it is a sad fact that employment discrimination because of national origin is still an issue. Federal and Texas employment laws protect all workers from on the job discrimination because of national origin, including specific traits such as:

  • Surname
  • Accent
  • Language
  • Birthplace
  • Cultural identity

National origin discrimination cases often involve some of the same elements as race discrimination and religious discrimination claims.

Compassionate & Effective Counsel

If you are a victim of nationality discrimination, call our law firm for a personal legal consultation. This includes:

  • Offensive comments
  • Supervisors making employment decisions based on your country of origin
  • Any other discriminatory actions

Allen national original discrimination lawyer Dan A. Atkerson can help you choose the best option so you no longer have to put up with discrimination. Call us now at (214) 383-3606 for a consult at our labor attorney's office in Allen, TX.

Dan Atkerson
Mr. Atkerson is passionate about helping you seek justice against discrimination.

Obvious Instances of Discrimination

Nationality discrimination can be direct and obvious. A famous example from history of national origin job discrimination is shop owners putting up signs in their front windows that read, “No Irish need apply.” However, some nationality discrimination on the job or national origin harassment may not be as apparent.

Examples of Subtle Discrimination

In addition to the hiring process, employers can make discriminatory decisions against their current employees as well. For example, if an airline refuses to allow employees who appear to be of Middle Eastern ancestry to work with passengers, or if a Mexican food restaurant manager only allows Latinos to be waiters and makes everyone else work in the back, this is national origin discrimination.

Discrimination based on national origin can also be more subtle. For example, an employer that has an English-only rule but only enforces the policy on employees who speak Spanish.

What Qualifies as Harassment?

Like other types of workplace discrimination, victims of national origin discrimination can face hostile work environments caused by harassment on the job. National origin harassment usually refers to:

  • Ethnic slurs
  • Graffiti
  • Vandalism

It can also refer to any other offensive behavior that targets a person based on their culture, language, accent, birthplace or ethnicity.

$72,000 Won for National Discrimination Client

Mr. Atkerson helped one client receive $72,000 due to national original discrimination. 

Is It Legal to Have Requirements for Language, Accent, & Citizenship?

Some business decisions that appear to be discriminatory on the surface may not be. For example, it is not necessarily illegal for an employer to make staffing decisions based on a person’s accent if the position requires that the employee communicate effectively with customers. This may include a customer assistance position where customers complain they cannot understand an employee with a heavy accent.

Like other types of workplace discrimination, victims of national origin discrimination can face hostile work environments caused by harassment on the job. 

English-only rules may also be legal so long as their purpose is for safety or necessary for the business. If the rule is enforced across the board to all workers and does not discriminate against a specific language, then it is likely not illegal.

Similarly, requiring U.S. citizenship is not national origin discrimination if the requirement is for business reasons and not simply a tactic to refuse jobs to other nationalities.

Advocating on Your Behalf

"Dan Atkinson is a advocate for those in need. He enters peoples lives when they are at the lowest, and his unwavering dedication gives you the confidence that you are not alone." Forrest S.

Texas Nationality Discrimination Laws

A number of state and federal laws protect employees in Texas from employment discrimination, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 – Federal discrimination law. It covers racial discrimination and discrimination based on color, religion and national origin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) overseas Title VII claims of companies with 15 or more workers.
  • Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 – State discrimination law. Similar to Title VII, Chapter 21 is overseen by the Texas Workforce Commission and applies to companies with at least 15 employees.
  • Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act – Federal statute prohibiting race and ethnicity discrimination in employment. Unlike Title VII, you do not have to first file the charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There is no cap on damages.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) – Federal immigration laws making it illegal for companies to discriminate against workers based on their citizenship or immigration status. This includes permanent residents, refugees, temporary residents or those seeking asylum. Employers must verify identity and eligibility for employment using an I-9 Form. IRCA and INA prohibit several acts of national origin discrimination by an employer. This includes rejecting valid identity and employment authorization documents as well as asking for more documentation than is legally required.

Seek Legal Representation

Contact us online or call us now at (214) 383-3606 for a consult. We assist clients in Allen, McKinney, Plano, Richardson, Frisco and other areas in North Texas.

Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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