Discrimination based on national origin involves treating employees or job applicants unfavorably because they are from a different country, or because of the person's (or the person's spouse's or associates') ethnicity or foreign accent, or because they seem to be of a certain ethnic background.
What kind of conduct is prohibited by the employer?
The law prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, pay, promotions, layoffs, job assignments, training, fringe benefits, and any other term of employment.
Must an employee speak English?
Any requirement that an employee speak English fluently is lawful only if fluency in English is necessary to effectively perform the job.
Can one discriminate against those who have foreign accents?
An employment decision may not be based on an employee's foreign accent unless the accent seriously interferes with job performance.
Is it unlawful to discriminate against non-citizens?
Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate based upon citizenship or immigration status. IRCA also prohibits retaliation against someone who asserted his or her right under the Act or for filing a charge or aiding in an investigation or proceeding under IRCA.
What about harassment?
It is also unlawful to harass someone due to his or her national origin. Inoffensive or mildly offensive stray remarks are not considered harassment. Rather, it becomes illegal when it is so frequent or serious that it establishes a hostile work environment or when it causes an adverse employment decision. The person who commits the harassment can be a supervisor, fellow employee, or customer.
Is It Discrimination If A Policy Applies To All Workers?
Even if an employment policy or practice applies to all employees and applicants, if it negatively affects persons of a particular national origin and is not job-related or necessary to the business operation, it is unlawful.