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National Origin Discrimination

New York City National Origin Discrimination Attorneys

According to the Furman Center, New York City City has one of the most diverse populations in the United States. It is one of the few cities in the U.S. where four different racial or ethnic groups each make up at least 10% of the population. Cultural identities are vast, so it is important to know when discrimination occurs in the workplace based on national origin. Here at Brown Kwon & Lam, we believe that all employees have the right to be treated justly.

What is National Origin Discrimination?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), national origin discrimination “involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).”

This includes the person’s cultural identity and anyone married to someone of a certain national origin. National origin discrimination can happen between a victim and perpetrator who are of the same national origin.

National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

Under federal law, discrimination based on someone’s national origin, perceived or actual, is forbidden in any aspect of employment. This includes the hiring, firing, pay, assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits, or any other term or condition of employment.

Harassment in the workplace on the basis of national origin can also include offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s national origin, accent, or ethnicity.

The law does not prohibit teasing, offhand comments, and isolated incidents that are not considered serious by the hypothetical victim. Perpetrators of such harassment can be:

  • The victim’s supervisor
  • A supervisor in another business area
  • The victim’s co-worker
  • A client or customer

When Policies Impede Employee Rights

Policies cannot apply to everyone in a company but have a negative impact on a certain national origin that is not job-related.

For example, policies on language spoken must be directly related to the job and not be based on discriminatory reasons. So, an employer can only have an English-only rule for the safety or operations of the position. An English-only rule is prohibited in workplaces where speaking English doesn’t affect an employee’s ability to do the job safely and well.

In addition, an employer may not have policies or make employment decisions based upon an employee’s accent. There are exceptions when an accent seriously interferes with the employee’s job performance.

Citizenship Discrimination

Under the EEOC’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), it is illegal for an employer to discriminate in any aspect of hiring based upon an individual’s citizenship or immigration status. For example, companies cannot only hire U.S. citizens unless it is required by law, regulation, or government contracts.

In addition, the IRCA applies to all employers with four or more employees. It protects anyone employed by or seeking employment by organizations that fall outside of the Civil Rights Act’s limitations.

It is important to note that under the Act, an employer may ask for employment verification documents. They cannot, however, require any further documentation outside of those required by the Immigration and Citizenship Services regulations.

The IRCA also prohibits retaliation against potential or current employees for:

  • Asserting their rights under the Act
  • For filing a charge
  • Assisting in an investigation under IRCA

Similar protections also exist under the New York City and New York City City Human Rights laws.

What Should I Do If I Experience National Origin Discrimination At Work?

If you encounter national origin discrimination in your workplace in New York, it’s essential to take specific actions to safeguard your rights and pursue justice.

Here’s what you should do:

Document the Discrimination: Maintain a comprehensive record of any discriminatory incidents, noting dates, times, locations, individuals involved, and potential witnesses. This detailed documentation will be vital if you choose to file a complaint or legal claim.

Report the Event: Inform your employer of the discrimination. To report it, follow the instructions in your employee handbook. Generally, this entails getting in touch with your HR department or a designated business officer. By bringing up the problem internally, you provide your company a chance to resolve it.

Make a Complaint to the NYSDHR or EEOC: You can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if your employer fails to take necessary action or if the discrimination persists. These organizations can intervene on your behalf and look into allegations of discrimination at work.

Seek Legal Counsel: To discuss your case, contact national origin discrimination attorneys in New York City at Brown Kwon & Lam. A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights, assess the strength of your case, and navigate the legal process. They can also represent you during negotiations and, if required, in court.

Protect Yourself from Retaliation: It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting discrimination or cooperating in an investigation. If you face reprisal, contact your national origin discrimination lawyer in New York City right away.

Taking these steps can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the support and justice you deserve. Consulting with a skilled attorney can provide you with the guidance and advocacy needed in these challenging situations.

Experienced Attorneys Fighting National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

At Brown Kwon & Lam, our seasoned attorneys are devoted to advocating for individuals facing national origin discrimination in the workplace. Backed by years of experience, we know how to handle the complexities of these types of cases and are dedicated to offering our clients the strong legal representation necessary to pursue justice.

Our attorneys who specialize in national origin discrimination are equipped to assist you with:

  • Filing claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Negotiating fair settlements with employers
  • Providing court representation if needed
  • Offering guidance and support throughout the legal process

If you have experienced national origin discrimination at your New York City workplace, reach out for a confidential consultation. We are committed to advocating for your rights and holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices.

Contact The New York City National Origin Discrimination Attorneys Today

You are entitled to a safe work environment with equal opportunities and rights. Your perceived or actual national origin shouldn’t matter to your job.

But when your employer discriminates against you, you deserve justice. 

If you believe that you were a victim of national origin discrimination or harassment, contact Brown Kwon & Lam, LLP today.

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