What is National Origin Discrimination?

National origin discrimination occurs when an employer treats applicants or employees unfavorable because they may be from a different country, have an accent, or appear from a certain ethnic background. For instance, an example of national origin discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to interview a potential candidate because he or she may have a Hispanic-sounding surname. Another example of national origin discrimination can occur when an employer does not allow an employee to wear a certain item of clothing that reflect one’s ethnicity. Additionally, if an employer enforces an “English-only” rule, that can be classified as national origin discrimination, depending on the circumstances. It is absolutely unlawful to harass a person due to their national origin. There are several instances in which one may experience harassment due to their national origin, such as offensive or derogatory remarks based on their origin, accent, or ethnicity. The national origin discrimination law applies to the following:
  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Pay
  • Job assignments
  • Promotions
  • Layoff
  • Training
  • Benefits
And any other terms or conditions of employment To find out more about, continue reading, as our very own national discrimination lawyer has composed the following explanations:

Accent Rules


When it comes to accents, employment decisions based on one’s accent are more fluid. The reason as to why this is so is because an employee’s accent may affect their ability to communicate clearly and may interfere with their ability to do their job. If customers were to complain that they could not understand directions clearly and an employer were to transfer an employee to a position that doesn’t involve customer contact, then that is a legitimate reason. However, if an employer were to transfer an employee to a different position on the mere fact of having an accent, then that is illegal. There must be a legitimate reason, such as not being able to perform one’s job effectively.

Fluency Requirements


If a job requires an employee to be fluent in English in order to effectively perform the position, then that is legal. However, the degree of fluency varies from job to job. For instance, fluency requirements are more common in customer service positions rather than other positions. In addition, the same rules go for jobs that require fluency in languages other than English.

English-Only Requirements


An employer may be able to prohibit on-duty employees from speaking any other language that is not English, under certain circumstances. However, those circumstances must be proven to show that the English-only requirement is necessary to the business and not malicious or discriminatory in any way. However, if an employer prohibits any other language during breaks or when a customer who speaks that certain language is present, then the rule does not apply the same way and is too wide-ranging. As a result, that may be found as discriminatory.

Contact a National Discrimination Lawyer


If you believe that you are facing national origin discrimination in the workplace, you need to seek advice from a Los Angeles employment lawyer. At Mann & Elias, we are experts in handling these types of cases and will not stand for national origin discrimination in the workplace. We understand the signs and behavior to look out for and we know what it takes to bring justice to victims. No one should ever have to experience such behavior. You can trust that our team will handle your case from start to finish and get you the justice you deserve. National discrimination in the workplace is a whole world all in its own. It can be extremely complex, stressful, and often times, people may not want to speak up because they are afraid of retaliation or getting fired. However, no one should have to keep quiet, especially when it comes to something like this. Everyone should feel comfortable to be in their place of work--no one should ever feel segregated or targeted due to their ethnic background, accent, or whatever the case may be. At Mann & Elias, we are on your side. We will always advocate on behalf of those who have been discriminated against in their workplace, whether it is in this type of scenario or any other discriminatory behavior. If you have experienced such behavior, do not hesitate to contact us any time.
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