National Origin Discrimination
National Origin Discrimination Definition
National origin discrimination is unlawful prejudice against an employee or job applicant in some aspect of employment, solely on the basis of his or her nationality, country of birth, ancestry, ethnicity or foreign accent.
National origin discrimination is similar to race or color discrimination, but based on different characteristics.
National origin discrimination might intersect with religious discrimination or vice versa.
National origin discrimination is prohibited in any aspect of employment. Examples include firing, harassing or refusing to hire, promote, or transfer a covered worker, solely because of his or her national origin.
National origin discrimination "by association" is also prohibited in any aspect of employment; for example, an employer may not fire, harass or refuse to hire a covered worker solely on the basis of the national origin of the covered worker's spouse.
National Origin Discrimination Laws
National origin discrimination law is enforced at the Federal level under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark, comprehensive Federal discrimination law that prohibits employment prejudice on the basis of a variety of characteristics.
Generally, employers who employ 15 or more employees are bound by Title VII. Some states have their own national origin discrimination laws with equal or better protections than Title VII, while other states have simply adopted Title VII as is.
In states that have their own national origin discrimination laws, employees and job candidates are protected by whichever law at the Federal or state level affords the most protection.
National Origin Discrimination Relief
If you reasonably believe that an employer representative, such as a boss, coworker or interviewer, is guilty of national origin discrimination against you, then you may seek legal recourse (relief) by filing a discrimination charge against the employer through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (or a state EEOC equivalent).
In fact, you must file a charge with the EEOC (or a state equivalent) in order to later file a lawsuit in court, should the EEOC not do so on your behalf. Either you or your representative, such as your attorney, may file your charge.
An attorney will help you to collect evidence and then file your charge in legalese, which might better compel the EEOC to file a lawsuit on your behalf. The EEOC receives thousands of discrimination charges annually; subsequently, it takes on only the most compelling discrimination cases and grants the right to file a private lawsuit in each of the remaining cases that merit suing.
Don't delay too long in consulting an attorney or filing your charge after the first incident of national origin discrimination against you, because a statute of limitations applies. The employer in question is prohibited from retaliating against you for seeking legal relief and against you or your witnesses for participating in related proceedings.
National origin discrimination relief may include back pay and benefits if your employer wrongfully discharged you for same, plus monetary damages and reimbursement of your legal fees. Attorneys often take winnable discrimination cases on a contingency basis.
Title VII prohibits national origin discrimination against employees and job candidates regardless of their citizenship status. However, relief for same might be limited or denied if the victims are not legally authorized to work in the U.S.