America prides itself on freedom of religion, equality, and being a “melting pot” of races, cultures, and nationalities. However, there is a growing group of Americans who pride themselves on the exact opposite of these harrowed morals. Unfortunately many of these people are business owners. Employees from the middle east in particular have likely experienced a large increase in hostility recently. According to Vox, Muslim hate crimes rose by 44% in just 12 months from 2015 to 2016. As white Christian nationalism is rising, others are left fearing for their lives and their jobs, even if they were born in the U.S. and only appear to be of a particular ancestry toward which the perpetrator is biased. If your employer has discriminated against you because of your national origin or ancestry, you have the right to fight back by filing a workplace discrimination claim.
National Origin Discrimination is Prohibited at the State and Federal Levels
The Missouri Human Rights Act and Equal Opportunity Employment Commission both prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee’s ancestry or retaliating against employees because they filed a claim or complained about workplace hostility. Both federal and state laws protect employees who are discriminated against because:
- Of their ancestry;
- Their perceived ancestry or national origin; and
- The national origin of their spouse, child, or family member.
22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced by climate change since 2008, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. As regions close to the equator continue to deteriorate under the impacts of climate change, such as political upheaval, crop failure, drought, and ethnic feuds over resources, more and more people will become climate refugees and will face discrimination when they come to their new homes. You are protected from discrimination whether you were born in the U.S. or not, and whether you are a citizen of the U.S. or not. However, undocumented employees may face a more challenging time winning a claim against their employers, and should speak with an attorney before taking action.
Examples of National Origin Discrimination
Discrimination occurs at the hands of employers as well as at the hands of other employees. The employer can be held liable in both cases. In the latter, if it is found that the employer did not take reasonable steps to combat national origin discrimination, and therefore let a hostile work environment flourish, they may be found liable for damages. A hostile work environment is one in which employers or employees exclude the victim, mock or make fun of the victim, or intimidate or threaten the victim in such a way as to cause a reasonable person emotional, physical, or psychological harm.
An Employment Attorney is Here to Help
Regardless of where you are from, what your ancestry may be, or what others perceive it to be, you have the right to work in peace and to be given the same opportunities for success as any other person. For help fighting back against national origin discrimination, reach out to our St. Louis employment attorneys at 314-391-9558 today.