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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

What Is National Origin Discrimination?

Collin County Nationality Discrimination Lawyer For Claims In North Texas Involving Real Or Perceived Ethnicity

Nationality discrimination on the job attorney in Dallas handling workplace national original discrimination casesNational 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 a surname, accent, language, birthplace or cultural identity. National origin discrimination cases often involve some of the same elements as race discrimination and religious discrimination claims.

If you are a victim of nationality discrimination, call our law firm for a free consultation. This includes offensive comments, supervisors making employment decisions based on your country of origin, or 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 workplace discrimination. Call us now at (214) 383-3606 for a free consult.

What are On the Job National Origin Discrimination Examples?

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.

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.

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 or any other offensive behavior that targets a person based on their culture, language, accent, birthplace or ethnicity.

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

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.

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.

Laws Against Nationality Discrimination

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.

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

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