National Origin Discrimination

Employment Laws | The Vegas Lawyers

National Origin Discrimination Lawyer in Las Vegas

Harassment and Discrimination In The Workplace

National origin discrimination is harassment or discriminatory action against a person in the workplace because of his or her birthplace, ancestry, culture, language or accent.  Discriminating against a person because of his or her national origin is illegal.  So is discriminating against a person because they‘re married to or associated with persons of a particular national origin.  

Due to racism and xenophobia, it’s a sad and unfortunate reality that people experience harassment, a hostile environment, or other discrimination in the workplace due to their national origin.  However, the fact that it happens doesn’t make it right and doesn’t mean something can’t be done about it.  At The Vegas Lawyers, we’re about protecting workers rights.  If you’re experiencing workplace discrimination, call us today at (702) 707-7000 or get in touch with us through our website

What is National Origin Discrimination?  

When an employer treats their employees or job applicants unfavorably because they appear to be from a certain country or ethnic background, it constitutes national origin discrimination.

If you’ve been fired, not hired or harassed in the workplace because of your accent, your facial features, or because you are associated with or married to a person of a different national origin, this too is unlawful. 

In order to be actionable, the discriminatory conduct has to be more than just simple teasing, a single isolated incident or an off-handed comment.  Instead, in order to be discriminatory, the comments must be frequent and severe and create an objectively hostile/offensive work  environment.   

The law is not just limited to employers either. It can include the following:

  • Direct supervisors
  • Managers/supervisors in another department
  • Coworkers
  • Clients
  • Customers

To foster a safe, positive, and productive work environment, many employers create office policies and practices for their team. It is illegal, though, if these practices apply, on their face, to everyone (despite their national origin) but have a negative impact on a specific person or group of people from a different country, ethnic group, race, or background. The policies in place must be job-related and essential to business operations.

For example, some employers have an English-only rule, in which employees are only allowed to speak English while on the job. Such a rule is legal only if it is in place to ensure the safety and efficiency of the business, as well as the employee’s job performance. Putting such a rule in place for any other reason can constitute discrimination against non-English speaking employees or those who are not fluent in the language.

Which Federal Laws Protect Employees from National Origin Discrimination?

There are primarily two federal laws that protect employees from national origin discrimination.  They are as follows:

1.     Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The purpose of Title VII is to protect people from discrimination during all employment processes, including:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Layoffs
  • Job termination

2.     The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

The INA is an amendment to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The INA protects employees from discrimination based on their citizenship or immigration status.

It also prohibits document abuse, as when an employer or potential employer demands more than one document or documents that are not required to verify a potential employee’s identity or employment eligibility. Employers are not allowed to reject genuine-looking documents, nor are they allowed to specify that they only accept one type of document over another.

Anti-Discrimination Laws: Whom Do They Protect?

Protected individuals include:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act applies to companies that employ more than 15 people, while the INA applies to employers who have between four and 14 employees. Under Nevada state law, the company must employ a minimum of 15 people for someone to file a national origin discrimination claim against them.

How to Prove National Origin Discrimination

As with any discrimination case, you’ll need to provide proof that you were treated differently or harassed due to your national origin.

The EEOC needs proof that:

  • You were treated differently than coworkers of different origins, races, religions, colors, etc. You will need to provide the name, race, age, and sex of the person to the EEOC.
  • Someone in a similar position was treated more favorably, perhaps receiving a promotion that you may have been more qualified for, because they were of a different race/ethnicity
  • There was not a legitimate reason why your employer treated you in a different manner. For example, were you not hired or promoted because you were less qualified than other employees/applicants?

You can provide evidence to the EEOC in various ways, including:

  • Testimony: Someone who knows what happened to you firsthand provides a statement to the EEOC. Provide the EEOC with the name, position, and contact information of the person if they are willing to come forward and talk about what they know and why they think you were discriminated against.
  • Documentation: Included are written records (letters, files, workplace policies, and even handwritten notes), as well as various types of recordings. Any documentation you have in your possession that can help your case should be submitted to the EEOC.
  • Statistical: At times, the EEOC will determine the impact a certain employment policy/decision can have on others within your race/ethnicity/etc. Statistical proof will not be used in every claim. To be used, it must meet specific scientific standards.


The Vegas Lawyers – Here to Protect Your Workplace Civil Rights

If you’ve been the victim of harassment and discrimination, you need someone in your corner. The legal team at The Vegas Lawyers have fought numerous cases of workplace discrimination.

They will work hard for you, using their knowledge, education, and experience to help you get a satisfactory outcome from your discrimination claim or lawsuit.

Call us today at (702) 707-7000 or get in touch with us through this website.


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