New York National Origin Discrimination Lawyer
National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because
he/she comes from a particular place, because of his/her ethnicity or
accent, or because it is believed that he/she has a particular ethnic
background. In short, national origin discrimination occurs when an employee
is treated unequally because of the country from which he/she came, or
from which that person’s ancestors came. Federal, New York State
and the New York City Human Rights laws make it illegal to discriminate
against someone because of a person’s birthplace, ancestry, culture
or language. This means people cannot be denied equal opportunity because
they or their family are from another country, because they have a name
or accent associated with a national origin group, because they participate
in certain customs associated with a national origin group, or because
they are married to or associate with people of a certain national origin.
Understanding Your Discrimination Case
It is unlikely that an employer would be reckless enough to make a direct
discriminatory statement regarding the national origin of its workforce
such as “I don’t want to hire any Latinos.” Occasionally,
however, such compelling evidence does exist and that would be called
direct evidence of national origin discrimination. It is more common to
find indirect or circumstantial evidence of national origin discrimination
that is more subtle and less obvious.
A few examples of possible national origin discrimination include, but
are certainly not limited to, the following:
- An employer refuses to interview people with Hispanic-sounding surnames
on their applications or resumes.
- An employer will not allow anyone with an accent to work with the company's
- Employees of a certain national origin are paid less than employees of
other national origins.
- Only requiring non-Caucasian employees to submit work authorization documents.
- Expressing the belief that a particular employee does “not fit”
the culture of the company.
- An employer fosters an environment that is hostile based on a person’s
- An employer may discriminate against an employee based on his/her marriage
to, or association with, persons of a national origin group or attendance
or participation in an organizations used by a national origin group.
Some employers may establish English only rules. Such rules are only legitimate
if they are enacted for nondiscriminatory reasons and if they are used
to promote the safe and necessary operations of the employer’s business.
National origin discrimination can occur even though the perpetrator of
the discriminatory conduct is of the same national origin as the victim.
Think you have a case? Call Schwartz Perry & Heller!
If you believe that you are being discriminated against at work because
of your national origin, you should be aware that laws exist to protect
you from unlawful national origin discrimination. The attorneys at Schwartz
Perry & Heller would be pleased to meet and discuss your concerns
with you. There is no charge for the initial consultation. Please feel
free to call us or
contact us online.