Discrimination can come in different forms and be based on an employee’s gender, race, or even religion. There is another kind of discrimination that is rampant in our workplaces and it is called national origin discrimination.
National origin discrimination happens when a person is denied certain rights due to his or her country of origin. Although not often talked about like every form of discrimination, national origin discrimination is increasingly becoming a common practice in the American work environment.
National origin discrimination, according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, involves treating of employees or job applicants unfavorably because of their ethnic background or origin. This form of harassment at work creates a hostile work environment.
Is National Origin Discrimination Illegal?
Absolutely. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 declares some forms of harassment illegal, though not all forms of harassment are covered by this Act. There are certain conditions that guide the illegality of harassment.
The first is that, for any form of harassment to be illegal, it must be based on a person’s membership in a protected class. Therefore, if a person faces harassment due to his or her accent, skin tone, or country of origin, such harassment is unlawful.
Harassment becomes unlawful under any of these two conditions:
- If the resistance of such offensive conduct would result in the termination of an individual’s appointment and the forbearance is a condition for retaining one’s appointment
- If the offensive conduct is severe enough to create an unpleasant and hostile work environment
Harassment Creates Hostile Work Environment
The second condition fulfills the definition of what is called “hostile work environment harassment.” What makes this illegal is that it is recurring, severe, intimidating, hostile, and pervasive. For example, while a mild joke about the idiosyncrasies associated with one’s origin may not be illegal, a recurring scornful remark about an employee’s accent is.
Knowing when this fine line of legality has been crossed might not be too easy for you as an employee. Speaking to an attorney would make you able to know when you can legally make a harassment claim and also how to address issues of harassment at the workplace.
Filing a Harassment Claim
Harassment from a superior is usually the most common one that happens at business establishments. Harassments also can come from colleagues, subordinates or even non-employees at the place of work. A person can legally make a harassment claim against these people under some circumstances, most especially when the employer is aware of it and refuses to take any corrective measures to address the issue.
Have Questions? Speak to a National Origin Discrimination Attorney in Kansas City Today
If you suspect your employer discriminated against you on the basis of your national origin, take legal action and contact HKM Employment Attorneys. Our employment attorneys are ready and able to help.