National Origin Discrimination
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers of 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants or employees because of national origin with regard to any aspect of employment such as hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits and any other term or condition of employment.
Under Title VII, employees must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the discriminatory action. This is a strict deadline. You will lose some of the most important federal claims available to you if you do not file a charge with the EEOC. If you have already missed the deadline, it is still important to reach out to an attorney to discuss your options.
It is unlawful for an employer to treat an applicant or employee less favorably because the individual is from a particular country or part of the world, due to ethnicity or accent, or because the individual appears to be of a certain ethnic background. Discrimination based on national origin also includes unfavorable treatment because of a marriage to or association with a person of a particular national origin, ethnic group or family name associated with a national origin. Discrimination may also happen when the victim and the perpetrator are both of the same national origin.
Regardless of where an individual or that individual’s ancestry is from or to what ethnic group one belongs, all job applicants and employees are entitled to the same equal employment opportunities. Also, an employer may not base an employment decision on an employee's foreign accent, unless the accent seriously interferes with the employee's job performance.
It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her national origin. National origin harassment includes behavior such as offensive or derogatory remarks about a person's national origin, accent or ethnicity. This harassment is illegal when it is frequent or severe and creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
A hostile work environment based on national origin may include ethnic slurs, workplace graffiti, physical violence or other offensive conduct directed towards an individual because of birthplace, ethnicity, culture, language, dress or foreign accent. Employers are required to take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment. However, this doesn’t always happen.
You have a right to be free from unlawful discrimination. If you believe that you’ve been subjected to discrimination because of your national origin, contact Rich Daugherty. He is experienced in representing clients who have been victims of this discrimination in the workplace and will fight to protect your rights.
You can arrange for an initial phone conference with Rich at no charge. He represents clients throughout North Carolina and is available to meet with prospective clients outside of Chapel Hill when circumstances permit. Evening appointments are also available.