The United States of America is a country of immigrants and their descendants. People from all over the world come here to seek better lives for themselves than they had in their first countries, settling throughout our nation and becoming hardworking American citizens. Here in Seattle, the most prominent immigrant groups are from Vietnam and the Philippines. In recent years, significant numbers of people from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia have also settled in Seattle, Washington.
It is illegal to discriminate against an employee or a prospective employee because of his or her national origin. This includes any discrimination based on the individual’s association with a person or group from a particular country or region, such as a spouse or a parent.
National origin is considered to be a protected status in RCW 49.60.030.
Any employee who has experienced discrimination in the workplace based on his or her national origin or perceived national origin may have grounds to file a discrimination lawsuit. Our firm is here to help employees work out their employment-related cases and seek productive solutions.
Types of National Origin Discrimination
Harassment, failure to hire or promote an individual, and termination based on an individual’s real or perceived national origin are all forms of discrimination.
Harassment is defined as any behavior that makes the workplace hostile or otherwise uncomfortable for an individual. This may include teasing, rude comments about one’s home nation or region, mocking, and other offensive behavior. An example of this would be telling an employee that he or she is not a “real American” because he or she was not born in the United States.
Any behavior that devalues an individual’s work because of his or her national origin is also a form of discrimination. This can be the termination of his or her position, failure to acknowledge his or her candidacy for a promotion, or simply refusing to hire an individual because of his or her national origin.
Citizenship Status and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
In certain situations, rules regarding employees’ status as American citizens may be allowed in the hiring process. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, it is not inherently illegal to require employees to be citizens of the United States. However, when such rules are used to bar individuals from certain countries or ethnic groups from seeking employment with a company, they may be challenged for national origin discrimination. This law also seeks to protect American workers by prohibiting employers from knowingly recruiting or hiring illegal aliens.
Employment Discrimination Attorneys Can Help
If you have been discriminated against in your workplace because of your national origin or any other protected status, you may have grounds to file a discrimination lawsuit. Call HKM Employment Attorneys LLP at 206-838-2504 to discuss your case with one of our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys. At HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, we understand employment law in Washington state. Your rights are important to us, and we’ll fight to make sure you can enjoy every one of them.