Discrimination against workers because of their national origin or because they are married to a person of a particular national origin is strictly prohibited by federal law. This type of discrimination is insidious, and it flies in the face of the very principles upon which the country was founded. Unfortunately, it still occurs in workplaces in Indiana and around the country.
National origin discrimination is forbidden at all stages of employment, including hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions, bonuses, pay and benefits. Harassment of workers because of their national origin is also against the law. This can include frequent and severe derogatory remarks about the person’s ethnicity that make the work environment hostile for them.
Employment policies that have a disparate impact on people of a specific national origin are also illegal, even if they do not appear to be discriminatory on their face. Similarly, employment rules mandating that workers can only speak English are allowable only if the job’s performance depends on English language fluency. If it does not, those types of policies are considered to be discriminatory in nature. Employers may also not make decisions about whether to hire someone simply because the applicant speaks English with a foreign accent, unless the accent is strong enough that it would make performing the job’s specific tasks difficult.
People who believe they have been given unfair treatment at work due to their national origin or due to that of their spouse may want to seek the advice of an employment law attorney. National origin discrimination does not have to be tolerated. After a review of the facts, an attorney might advise the client concerning whether or not a discrimination claim is supportable. If so, the process can be initiated by the filing of a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.