Protecting your rights in the workplace.

Common Types of National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

National origin discrimination remains a prevalent issue in the workplace, posing significant challenges to diversity, inclusion, and equality. Discrimination based on an individual’s country of origin, nationality, ethnicity, or accent can manifest in the following common forms, creating barriers to equal opportunities and fair treatment in employment.

Recruitment and Hiring Practices

National origin discrimination can occur during the recruitment and hiring process, where biases may influence decisions regarding job applicants. Employers may engage in discriminatory practices such as favoring candidates of a particular nationality or ethnicity, excluding individuals based on their accent or country of origin, or imposing language requirements that are unrelated to job performance.

Unequal Treatment and Opportunities

Employees may experience national origin discrimination through unequal treatment and opportunities in the workplace. This can include being passed over for promotions, assignments, or training opportunities based on their national origin, ethnicity, or accent. Additionally, discriminatory practices may result in disparities in pay, benefits, or job assignments among employees of different nationalities or ethnicities.

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment can arise when employees are subjected to derogatory comments, jokes, or slurs based on their national origin, ethnicity, or accent. Such behavior creates a toxic atmosphere that undermines employees’ well-being, productivity, and sense of belonging in the workplace. Employers have a legal obligation to prevent and address harassment and discrimination to maintain a respectful and inclusive work environment.

Retaliation for Asserting Rights

Employees who speak out against national origin discrimination or assert their rights under anti-discrimination laws may face retaliation from their employers or colleagues. Retaliation can take various forms, including demotion, termination, or adverse treatment in the workplace.

Language-Based Discrimination

Language-based discrimination occurs when employees are treated unfavorably because of their accent, proficiency in English, or native language. Employers may impose English-only policies or discriminate against employees who speak languages other than English, even when language proficiency is not essential for job performance. Such practices can marginalize employees and perpetuate stereotypes based on national origin.

Addressing National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

Addressing national origin discrimination in the workplace requires employees to take proactive steps to assert their rights and seek redress for discriminatory treatment.

Document Incidents

Keep detailed records of any incidents of national origin discrimination you experience or witness in the workplace. Document dates, times, locations, individuals involved, and specific behaviors or comments that constitute discriminatory conduct. Save any relevant emails, messages, or other communications that may serve as evidence of discrimination.

Report the Discrimination

If you experience national origin discrimination, report it to your employer’s human resources department, a designated supervisor, or other appropriate authority within your organization if you feel comfortable doing so.

File a Complaint with the CRD

If the discrimination persists or your employer fails to address it effectively, consider filing a complaint with California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD). You can file a complaint online, by phone, or in person at an office.

Seek Legal Advice

Consider seeking legal advice from an experienced Los Angeles national origin discrimination lawyer. They can assess your situation, advise you on your legal options, and represent your interests throughout the process. They can also help you navigate the complexities of filing a complaint with the CRD or pursuing legal action independently.

File a Lawsuit

If the CRD investigation does not result in a resolution or you prefer to pursue legal action independently, you can request a Right-to-Sue Notice. This document grants you the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. Your employment attorney in Los Angeles will draft and file the necessary legal documents to initiate the lawsuit and begin the litigation process.

If the case does not settle, it will proceed to trial, where both parties present evidence and arguments before a judge or jury. If the court finds in your favor, you may be entitled to remedies such as monetary damages, injunctive relief (e.g., reinstatement), and attorney’s fees.