Nassau County National Origin Discrimination

Knowledgeable Employment Lawyers Helping Nassau County Residents

Nassau County's five most reported ancestries are Italian Americans, Irish Americans, German Americans, American Indians, and Polish. There is also a growing population of Indian Americans and Chinese Americans. Federal and state laws prohibit national origin discrimination in the workplace. National origin discrimination happens if a job applicant or employee is treated unfavorably because they are from a specific country or region in the world, or if they seem to be of a particular ethnic background. There is often some overlap with race discrimination or religious discrimination, which are also prohibited. At Phillips & Associates, our Nassau County religious discrimination lawyers provide knowledgeable representation and counsel to workers who have been subject to discrimination or harassment.

Claims of National Origin Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the federal law that prohibits national origin discrimination. Most people assume that discrimination only occurs between people of different national origins, but in fact, discrimination can happen under Title VII even if the victim and the person who is perpetrating the discrimination are of the same national origin. The New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits national origin discrimination. Title VII applies to employers with at least 15 employees, while the Human Rights Law applies to employers with at least four employees. The remedies provided under these laws are different, so it is important to consult a national origin discrimination attorney in Nassau County about which law would best apply to your situation.

Under both laws, employers are not allowed to discriminate against job applicants or employees with regard to any employment decision. They are not allowed to treat you unfavorably with regard to hiring, firing, promotions, mentorship programs, benefits, and other employment aspects either because you are from a specific country or because they imagine you to be from a different country or ethnic background. They are also not allowed to treat you unfavorably on the job because you have married someone of a particular national origin. For example, it could be national origin discrimination if your boss did not promote you after finding out that your wife is from Iraq after you had been told that you were about to get the promotion. It could also be national origin discrimination if you were told that you were the best candidate over the phone but then not hired after you mention in an interview that you are from Sudan.

It is also illegal under Title VII for an employer that is covered to use an employment practice that applies to everyone if it has a negative disparate impact on people of a particular national origin, and it is not necessary to operate the business and is not job-related.

Accent Discrimination and English-Only Workplaces

Under Title VII, accent discrimination is one type of national origin discrimination. Among the situations that sometimes arise is an employer requiring an employee to speak fluent English. This may impinge on an employee's right to work in a place free from national origin discrimination. A rule like this is only permissible when English linguistic fluency is needed in order to do an effective job. Your employer is not supposed to decide whether to give you a promotion to a particular position based on a foreign accent, for example, unless fluency is needed to perform job duties for that position, and your accent materially hinders you from communicating in English. Our Nassau County national origin discrimination attorneys can help you determine whether you may have been mistreated based on your accent.

Sometimes employers feel uncomfortable with other languages being spoken within an office or factory, and they may try to enforce English-only rules. Under Title VII, these rules are appropriate only when they are needed to make sure that the business is run safely or efficiently, and the rule was put forward for a non-discriminatory reason. Employers are supposed to provide sufficient notice of English-only rules.

Harassment Based on National Origin

Harassment is one form of national origin discrimination under both federal and state laws. Harassment in this context can include any derogatory statement or treatment that arises from your national origin, including your ethnicity or your accent. In a legal context, harassment does not include a one-off minor remark or mild teasing. It does include actions that are so severe or so pervasive that a hostile work environment is created, or an adverse employment action, such as firing, is taken. Harassing actions could include the use of ethnic slurs, physical violence, the forwarding of offensive memes, and other objectionable conduct directed toward you because of where you were born.

Consult a National Origin Discrimination Lawyer in Nassau County

Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your situation to determine whether you have a basis to sue for national origin discrimination, and we can represent you in any ensuing claim. Call us at (516) 365-3731 or contact us online. We offer free consultations, and we handle cases on a contingency fee basis so that our clients pay no upfront fees. We simply receive a percentage of an eventual settlement or verdict.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
1129 Northern Boulevard, 4th Floor,
Manhasset, NY 11030
Tel: 516-365-3731
Fax: 212-901-2107
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