National origin discrimination is the act of unfairly treating employees because of their origin and ethnicity. This form of harassment at work can arise due to a person’s accent, or because they appear to come from a different background, country or region. National origin discrimination can even involve treating employees inappropriately because they are married or in a relationship with a person from a certain national origin. It is a common instance for national origin discrimination to occur when the harasser and the employee are of the same origin or ethnicity.
What is national origin discrimination?
It is considered as unlawful to harass an employee due his/her nationality. There are various forms of national origin discrimination. These can include insults or remarks about an employee’s accent, ethnicity or national origin. According to the California labor law, national origin discrimination is illegal when it is so frequent that it creates a hostile work environment for the worker. Simple teasing or other isolated incidents are not illegal unless they are happening on a regular basis. The harasser is not necessarily always the employer but can also be::
- A supervisor
- A supervisor in another department
- A co-worker
- A manager
- Someone who is not an employee, such as a client or customer.
The national origin of an employee should never be the reason for harassment at work. Whether a worker is from the USA, France, Senegal, or belongs to an ethnic group, he/she is entitled to equal opportunities as anyone else. An employment action based on a person’s ethnicity and nationality is considered as national origin discrimination. This form of harassment at work breaches the California labor law and can have severe consequences. National origin discrimination can include harassment at work based on:
- Marriage to or in a relationship with a person from a national origin group
- Membership with an ethnic promotion or group
- Family names associated with a particular national origin group
- Attendance or participation in churches generally associated with a national origin group
Which federal laws cover national origin discrimination?
The federal law and California labor law protects employees in Los Angeles from national origin discrimination as per the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This takes into consideration all the employment actions based on national origin including hiring, firing, layoffs, cut-offs and recruitment efforts. This act protects employees from harassment at work based on their:
The California Legislature passed Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to state that every person in California is entitled to the same employment rights as any other person, irrelevant of their nationality, ethnicity or background. Therefore, under the California labor law, a person should never be judged for work because of national origin. These protections apply to every worker in the United States of America. Whether they were born in the USA or overseas, and regardless of their citizenship status. The California labor laws express the vigorous policy against national origin discrimination at work.
Under the California labor law, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) protects employees from harassment at work due to immigration and citizenship status. The INA safeguards workers from document abuse discrimination, which occurs when an employer requests multiple documents and certifications to be able to determine whether he/she is fit for the job. The California labor law makes it clear that no applicant should ever be chosen based on national origins, but should be chosen due to personal characteristics or qualifications. This would depend on the requirements of the job.
Different organizations may have their own workplace laws. Nonetheless, the California labor law protects all workers from national origin discrimination, irrelevant of the requirements at their workplace. Employers are not permitted to accept legal documentation that establishes the employment eligibility of a worker. It is also considered unlawful for an employer to demand any additional documentation beyond what is legally required.
How can I file a national origin discrimination complaint?
As an employee, trying to determine how to file a national origin discrimination complaint may seem rather daunting. In California, a national origin discrimination complaint can be filed either with the state agency, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal administrative agency. Both agencies have a “work-sharing agreement” which enables them to cooperate with each other to process these claims.
Filing a national origin discrimination case depends on the size of your workplace. Therefore, if your establishment has between 5 and 14 employees, you are requested to file a national original discrimination case with the DFEH. This is because the EEOC applies for organizations with 15 or more employees. If your workplace exceeds 15 employees, you should file a national origin discrimination case with either of the above-mentioned agencies.
Contact a National Origin Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have questions about whether you are the victim of harassment at work due to your ethnicity or background, feel free to call the national discrimination lawyers at Wrongful Termination Law Group today. Our law firm in Los Angeles has established an outstanding reputation for professionalism in national origin discrimination under the California labor law. We take all discrimination cases on a contingency basis. This means there are not any upfront costs or national discrimination lawyer fees. We are only paid when we successfully obtain monetary recovery from the employer and settle your case.