National Origin Discrimination

There is a subtle distinction between discrimination based on your race as opposed to bias against your national origin. National Origin prejudice takes many forms. For example a company policy that all employees communicate in English, when the worker does not perform customer service or administrative work. You may not be promoted because a supervisor does not like your accent—but the job is in informational technology, and technical skills are more important than speaking. You could even be a second or third generation American and still receive prejudicial treatment because ‘all Arabs are terrorists’.

Both Federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and California Law (The Fair Employment and Housing Act) proscribe discrimination against a worker because of national origin. If the plaintiff proves their case, they can be awarded damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as attorney’s fees and expert witness fees. California State law allows for more damages than Federal law, and you should talk to a lawyer about whether to begin your claim on the State or Federal level.

In order to win your case, your lawyer will have to prove that you were discriminated against because of your national origin. Other people, who did not have your qualifications or experience, received annual bonuses, promotions or went to training classes, but you did not. It became evident after a time that nobody who had African, Asian, or Hispanic blood was able to climb the corporate ladder. The employer will try to rebut your claim by citing business reasons not related to national origin, if you can rebut those claims by showing the incident did not happen or was resolved amicably, you may be one step closer to winning your case.

At this point, you should organize your papers before meeting with an employment discrimination attorney. Try to document how well you performed on the job, and how many promotions you were denied. Your lawyer will want to demonstrate a pattern of prejudicial conduct toward you, in order to win the case, or negotiate a fair settlement before the case goes to trial.

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