National Origin Discrimination

Employment Lawyer Assisting Clients in New York City and Beyond

Employees should be considered on the basis of their job performance, rather than where they were born. National origin discrimination occurs when an employer treats a job applicant or employee unfavorably due to their country of origin, ethnicity, or accent or due to perceptions that they are from a particular background, even if they are not. This type of discrimination may also occur if an employee is treated unfavorably because they are married to someone of a specific national origin. A New York City national origin discrimination lawyer at The Polat Law Group can provide aggressive legal representation to employees who are subject to discrimination and need to protect their rights.

National Origin Discrimination

Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of national origin with regard to all aspects of employment, including hiring, pay, job assignments, training, fringe benefits, promotions, layoffs, and firings. Similarly, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination with regard to citizenship or immigration status. Under IRCA, an employer may not hire only citizens or lawful permanent residents unless laws or a government contract require it to do so. You may have grounds to sue under either of these laws if you suspect that your national origin was the reason why you were treated adversely by your employer.

Harassment is one form of discrimination, and it is also unlawful. A harasser may be a supervisor, coworker, client, or customer of a victim of national origin discrimination. Harassment on the basis of national origin might include derogatory remarks about someone's ethnicity, accent, or national origin. They must either result in a tangible employment decision or be frequent or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment.

For example, a supervisor who daily makes derogatory remarks about Indian workers stealing jobs away from hardworking Americans to an Indian employee or who regularly makes offensive remarks about how Middle Eastern people are dangerous because they are terrorists to an Iraqi employee may be engaging in prohibited discrimination. Similarly, if you were fired because you get a new supervisor who says that he does not trust Mexicans, this is likely to be considered national origin discrimination. A national origin discrimination attorney in New York City can advise you on whether a certain behavior likely is or was unlawful.

In some cases, there is a seemingly neutral workplace policy, but it has a negative impact only on people of a certain national origin. Disparate impact discrimination is actionable, and it often requires the use of statistical analysis. An employer may defend against such a claim by showing that the policy is job-related and necessary for its operations. For example, requiring employees to speak only English on the job may be permitted, but only if it is necessary for safe operations and if the policy was put in place for non-discriminatory reasons.

State and local laws also prohibit national origin discrimination. The New York Human Rights Law covers employers that have at least four employees and forbids employers from refusing to hire someone on the basis of their national origin, from printing job ads that express a limitation or discrimination against particular ethnicities or people of a specific national origin, asking a job applicant directly about national origin unless it is for a bona fide occupational qualification, discharging someone for complaining about national origin discrimination or helping someone else do so, or denying someone entry into an on-the-job training due to national origin. It also prohibits harassment, including ethnic name-calling.

Discuss Your Situation with a National Origin Discrimination Lawyer in New York City

National origin discrimination lawsuits may become complicated, and it is important to retain an experienced attorney to advocate for you. A New York City national origin discrimination attorney can make sure that your rights are protected. The Polat Law Group provides guidance and aggressive legal representation to employees who are subject to national origin discrimination in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Call us at (212) 480-4500 or complete our online form to set up an appointment if you need a wrongful termination lawyer or assistance with another type of employment claim.