Phillips & Associates

Yonkers Nationality Discrimination

Employment Attorneys Protecting Your Workplace Rights

Yonkers is the fourth-most populated city in New York. It is diverse with strong Irish, Arab, Slavic, and African American communities. The musical Hello Dolly takes place in the midst of the Yonkers Jewish community. If your employer discriminates against you on the basis of your nationality, you should consult a lawyer who is experienced at bringing claims under both federal and state laws. It is challenging to raise a complaint of nationality discrimination against an employer. The Yonkers nationality discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates are aggressive employment litigators who may be able to help you.

Laws Prohibiting Nationality Discrimination

Nationality discrimination occurs when an employer makes an adverse employment decision based on an employee's actual or perceived nationality. It may also occur when the decision is based on ethnicity, ancestry, country of origin, or under certain circumstances, accent. Sometimes there are overlaps with religious and race discrimination. Nationality is a protected characteristic under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

If you want to sue in federal court, a nationality discrimination attorney in the Yonkers area will need to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which administers and enforces Title VII. Only employers with at least 15 employees are governed by Title VII. There are certain limitations to suing under Title VII. Compensatory and punitive damages are capped based on the number of employees that your employer has.

Sometimes employers enact workplace policies that violate Title VII. For example, an English-only rule may violate Title VII unless it is instituted for a nondiscriminatory reason and assists with needed business operations. If a supervisor gets irritated that two factory workers are speaking in Spanish to each other during their lunch break and institutes an English-only rule as a result, this may be a violation of Title VII.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) also makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on his or her citizenship or immigration status. Employers cannot decide to hire only citizens or lawful permanent residents unless it is required by regulation, law, or government contract. This law applies to employers that have at least four employees, which means that it affects more companies than Title VII does.

The New York State Human Rights Law also forbids employers from engaging in nationality discrimination and applies to workplaces with at least four employees. This law does not require that your Yonkers nationality discrimination attorney file a charge before suing in court. Unlike with federal law, damages are not capped, but you cannot recover punitive damages at all under the state law.

Forms of Nationality Discrimination

Nationality discrimination can be based on a failure to promote, a failure to hire, differential pay, termination, or a failure to pay bonuses. Sometimes it can involve refusing to put someone of a particular ethnic background into a customer service position. Or it could involve failing to promote a qualified worker because of a belief that members of their group lack the people skills to be competent managers.

Harassment is one form of nationality discrimination. When harassing conduct is severe or pervasive, it may create a hostile work environment. A supervisor, manager, client, customer, or all of these can create a hostile work environment. A trivial event will not be significant enough to constitute a hostile work environment. More often, there is a pattern of harassment that creates a hostile work environment. If, for example, you were beaten up by a coworker because you are Iraqi, however, this would likely be severe enough to constitute a hostile work environment. It is important to give your employer an opportunity to correct the situation. You should provide notice to your employer according to the grievance procedures set forth in your employment handbook.

Consult a Dedicated Nationality Discrimination Lawyer in Yonkers

At Phillips & Associates, our experienced attorneys help employees who have faced nationality discrimination under federal or state laws in New York. If you believe that you have been affected by employment discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you can contact us at (212) 248-7431 or complete our online form for a free consultation.

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