What is National Origin Discrimination?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on October 31, 2017

national origin It’s easy to say what racial, sex, and religious discrimination are. But discrimination based on national origin is tricky. Sometimes, the individual being discriminated against may not even hold a protected status. Discrimination based on national origin is completely based on the expectations of the interviewer or business toward the person they are interacting with.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis on national origin, and it applies to every company with 15 or more employees.

Discrimination based on national origin is unlawful employment action based on

  • An individual’s or their ancestor’s place of origin
  • The employer’s perception that an individual is of a particular origin
  • Physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group
  • Marriage to or association with persons, membership in organizations, or attendance at schools or churches associated with a national origin group
  • A name or spouse’s name associated with a national origin group
  • Aptitude or other employment tests, unless such requirements are applied equally to all applicants and relate to successful job performance
  • An accent or manner of speaking

Many of these violations can be committed by not being aware of one’s own biases, such as assuming that anyone with an accent wasn’t born here, for instance. Asking where someone is “from” or where their family is from is another example, especially when you have already seen the details of their residence and possibly already made a copy of their driver’s license.

It’s important to note the emphasis on the employer’s perception in this category, which is different from other categories of discrimination. In other categories, individuals either are or are not part of a protected group. But within this category, responsibility is on the employer not to treat individuals differently based on what they perceive and individual’s history or ancestry is, and based on the biases they hold for those groups, whether they are conscious or unconscious.

Call Miami Employment Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Employment Law and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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