Federal law and Virginia employment law make it unlawful for an employer to treat an employee or applicant different from their work peers based on their national origin. This unfair treatment is based on a specific characteristic of the employee or applicant. If you were discriminated against because of your national origin, you have the right to file a discrimination claim against your employer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces employment discrimination law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What is National Origin Discrimination?
National origin discrimination is the mistreatment of an applicant or employee based on the country where they were born or a specific characteristic. For example, it’s illegal to maltreat an applicant or employee because of their accent, ethnicity, or appearance of having an ethnic background. National origin discrimination can occur because of an employee’s spouse, too. Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an individual differently from their work peers because of their spouse. Their spouse may have the same or different national origins.
How National Origin Discrimination Occurs
If you are a victim of national origin discrimination, you may have endured one of two types of situations: discrimination or harassment. Discrimination in a work situation includes giving job assignments to other workers, no promotions, layoffs, no fringe benefits, no training, and termination. It also includes not hiring you. That’s why the law includes the term “applicant” because people applying for a job can be discriminated against, too.
Another form of national origin discrimination is harassment. It is illegal to harass an employee or applicant because of their national origin. Harassment is different from basic discrimination because it includes derogatory or offensive remarks about an individual’s national origin, ethnicity or accent. It’s important to note that simple teasing or an isolated incident isn’t included in the definition of harassment. However, if these annoyances frequently occur and create a hostile work environment, then it can lead to a national origin discrimination claim.
You May Have the Right to File a Discrimination Claim in Arlington
Virginia and the federal government have laws to prevent anyone from enduring discrimination in the workplace because of their national origin. If you felt discriminated against because of your national origin, contact our employment lawyers. We are HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Arlington, Virginia. We’re a law firm committed to representing people in all industries and employment levels to fight discrimination in the workplace. If successful, you can win damages, back pay, or your job. Contact us today for a free consultation.