Race/National Origin Discrimination
Race/National Origin Discrimination
Discriminating against or harassing an employee because of their race and/or national origin is illegal. “National origin” can include a person’s ancestry, birthplace, cultural characteristics, or linguistic characteristics. If you believe you were discriminated against because of your race and/or national origin, it is recommended to contact an attorney with significant experience in race and/or national origin discrimination and harassment cases. There are certain skills necessary to prove a race and/or national origin discrimination case, and our attorneys’ experience and knowledge will have a direct impact on the value of your case.
Racial discrimination can come in a variety of forms. Broadly speaking, there are two types of racial discrimination in the workplace: disparate treatment and disparate impact. Disparate treatment occurs when a person is treated differently at work because of their race. Disparate impact occurs when an employer’s policy results in benefits to one race of people and not to another. Laws against racial discrimination in the workplace do not only apply to minorities, or to only certain employees. Anyone in a work environment who is being discriminated against because of their race is protected under federal and state laws.
It is important to note that the harassment does not have to be done by an employer or by a supervisor. If a co-worker, client or customer engages in the harassment, that can also constitute national origin discrimination, especially if the employer was aware of the offensive conduct. Employees also cannot be discriminated against based on whom they are married to or are associated with. Employees are also protected from discrimination based on perceived national origin, even if that assumption is incorrect.
Some examples of race and/or national origin discrimination and race and/or national origin harassment may include:
- Teasing the employee about their race and/or national origin
- Making insensitive stereotypes based on race and/or national origin
- Using ethnic slurs
- If an employee speaks more than one language, and is expected to do more work based on that status than other employees without extra pay, that could be considered discrimination based on national origin.
- Discriminating against an employee because of an accent or a manner of speaking
- Forcing an employee to speak English only in the workplace unless it is absolutely necessary to the business the employer is engaged in
- Discriminating against or harassing an employee based on physical traits or clothing that is typically associated with a certain country, region, or population of individuals
- Laying off “foreigners” or “foreign people” before other employees simply due to their race and/or national origin
- Denying the employee opportunities because of their race and/or national origin
- Overly monitoring and scrutinizing the employee
- Unfairly disciplining the employee
- Denying the employee benefits
- Refusing to rehire the employee if they were fired
In California, the principal statute governing employment discrimination is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) (Govt C §§12900–12996). This statute protects the right of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age (at least 40), military and veteran status, or pregnancy. (Govt C §§12940(a), 12941, 12945(a)). This statute does not only protect paid employees but also extends to individuals who are unpaid interns and volunteers. (Govt C §12940(j)).
It is also important to note that just because an employee is a minority and is fired doesn’t mean racial discrimination has occurred. In order to prevail on a race and/or national origin discrimination claim in California, an employee typically must show that he or she was a member of a protected class, was subjected to an adverse employment condition, and similarly situated employees outside of that protected class were treated differently and more favorably. If there is direct evidence of discrimination, such as a supervisor stating he or she preferred employees of a certain race, it can be very strong evidence in favor of the plaintiff.
If you believe you have been treated differently because of your race and/or national origin, give us a call at 855-IM-FIRED for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have substantial experience with these types of cases representing individuals who have been discriminated against in the past or who are currently experiencing discrimination because of their race and/or national origin.
There are no up-front costs and you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless we get a recovery in the case.
Contact our Los Angeles California employment attorneys and lawyers now for all of your employee rights’ needs!
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