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Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP National Origin Discrimination

New York National Origin Discrimination Lawyer

What Does National Origin Discrimination Mean in NYC?

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.

Examples of National Origin Discrimination

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 customers.
  • 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 national origin.
  • 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 LLP!

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 LLP 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.

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