National Origin Discrimination

Attorneys Serving Employees in Throughout New Jersey, Including Newark, Princeton, Edison and Jersey City as well as New York City

At first, you didn’t think anything of it. An offhand remark, a minor slight in the workplace – but now the incidents are adding up. Perhaps you have even faced major employment consequences, such as a demotion or firing. Maybe you were refused employment or a well earned raise in the first place.

When an New Jersey or New York employer discriminates against you or harasses you on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, accent, where you were born, or where you were raised, the law recognizes it as national origin discrimination and this is against the law.

In Princeton, Newark, Jersey City, and across New Jersey as well as New York City, national origin discrimination is illegal. The discrimination lawyers at Arcé Law Group fight against racially and ethnically motivated employment decisions and harassment.

What is National Origin Discrimination in New Jersey?

An employer discriminates on the basis of national origin when it makes employment decisions based on:

  • Ancestry
  • Ethnicity
  • Birthplace
  • Where they were born
  • Surname
  • Practiced customs
  • Ethnic clothing
  • Physical features
  • Accent

Discrimination can occur even if the harasser is of the same race, national origin, or ethnicity. Discrimination also includes discriminating against a person because they are associated with a person of a particular origin. For example, an employee is harassed because her husband is Pakistani.

National origin discrimination even covers people who have been harassed because they are perceived to be of a particular origin, even if they are not.

If you feel you have been the victim of National Origin Discrimination in New Jersey or New York City or you would like more information, contact one of our NJ discrimination lawyers today.

What Constitutes National Origin Discrimination in NJ?

New Jersey Discrimination occurs when an employer makes unfavorable employment decisions based on actual or perceived national origin, or characteristic relating to a person’s origin. Some of the areas covered under the New Jersey national discrimination law includes discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, wages, job titles, promotions, layoff, workplace training, other benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

For example, an employer refuses to interview any person with a Hispanic last name. Or an employer adopts an “English-Speaking Only” policy, even though speaking another language does not interfere with the business.

National origin discrimination also includes workplace harassment that creates a hostile work environment. Harassment can occur between a subordinate and a boss, or between co-workers. A one time incident or minor case of teasing generally is not sufficient enough to make a legal case for harassment. The conduct must be severe or pervasive. Talk to your New Jersey discrimination attorney to see if your circumstance qualifies for legal action.

Accent and Language Rules

If you have an accent or speak another language, an employer cannot discriminate against you. The only times a company can make rules or regulations surrounding accent and language requirements is when having a foreign accent or speaking another language interferes with business operations or significantly interferes with the employee’s ability to perform a job.

For example, a software company may move an employee with a heavy accent from a customer service role to a technical job because the employee’s heavy accent makes it difficult for customers to communicate with him or her.

If an employer imposes an “English-only” rule on the job – meaning workers are only allowed to speak English at work – they must demonstrate that speaking another language interferes with business. Additionally, an organization may require certain employees to speak a language other than English is that is necessary to the position.

All accent and language rules must apply to all employees. The employer cannot single out specific employees based on their national origin. For example, if a supervisor forbids one worker from speaking Spanish on the job but allows another to communicate in Russian, they may be considered national origin discrimination.

Citizenship Discrimination

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate with respect to hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, based upon an individual’s citizenship or immigration status. The law prohibits employers from hiring only U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents unless required to do so by law, regulation or government contract.

Want to Learn More? Speak an Experienced Discrimination Lawyer in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania

Our attorneys are here to help clients throughout New Jersey, including Newark, Princeton, Edison and Jersey City as well as New York City, and Pennsylvania. Speak with a Discrimination lawyer at the Arcé Law Group today at 212.248.0120.

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