As established in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), employers are required to employ a fair and balanced system when evaluating employees. It is unlawful discrimination for an employer to make an employment decision purely based on certain characteristics, including national origin. The unfortunate reality is that many employers engage in unlawful discrimination, intimidating employees with threats of retaliation.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a highly decorated law firm with national prestige and local sensibilities. HKM Employment Attorneys focus on protecting employees from unlawful employment discrimination. If you have legal questions about national origin discrimination in the workplace, contact us today to discuss your situation.
Legal Definition of National Origin
Generally speaking, national origin refers to a person’s birth country. If a person lives in the same country from birth to death, then national origin is basically synonymous with citizenship. Though in certain cases, national origin can refer to ancestry or citizenship of a person’s ancestors. In larger terms, national origin can refer to physical appearance, cultural traditions or linguistic traits.
Similar to race, national origin is the type of trait that does not change after birth. National origin is a trait that a person is born with. In certain cases, it may not be possible to separate an employee’s national origin and race. For example, consider a person with Native American heritage. In that case, ethnicity, race and national origin could all stem from this person’s Native American heritage.
Types of National Origin Discrimination
As every workplace is unique, national origin discrimination comes in many different forms. In practice, national origin generally falls into one of three categories below.
- Disparate Treatment: If an employer makes an employment decision solely based on an employee’s national origin, it qualifies as unlawful discrimination. This applies whether the employment decision involves work schedule, promotion, or similar action.
- Hostile Work Environment: If an employee is subjected to an abusive work environment based on national origin, it qualifies as unlawful discrimination. This applies whether the abusive treatment comes from managers, coworkers, or customers.
- Disparate Impact: Even if an employer does not explicitly discriminate based on national origin, discrimination is still possible. If the employer’s policies have an adversely negative impact on certain employees based on their national origin or other protected class, then it qualifies as unlawful discrimination.
If an employee is subjected to disparate treatment, a hostile work environment or disparate impact in the workplace, then it is advisable to retain an attorney and seek immediate legal action.
Consult with a Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Today
If you are an employee who suffered unlawful national origin discrimination in Pennsylvania, it can be highly beneficial to speak with an accomplished employment lawyer. With extensive experience handling employment discrimination cases, HKM Employment Attorneys can help you evaluate all available legal options. If you need legal help with national origin discrimination, contact us today for an initial consultation.