Orange County National Origin Discrimination Attorney
You are a finalist for a big promotion at work. You and a coworker are competing for the head marketing position. Both of you are qualified with the education and the experience the hiring committee is looking for. Your coworker is of Irish descent while your grandparents came from Mexico. After your final interview, the boss tells you that your coworker better represents the face of the company. You wonder whether that is a legitimate reason to make a hiring decision. A national origin discrimination lawyer can help you determine if you have a case.
What is National Origin Discrimination?
When someone treats you differently because of the country you or your ancestors come from, they are discriminating against you on the basis of national origin. Some of the ways employers might practice this type of discrimination include:
- Passing you over for a promotion
- Firing you because you look different
- Paying you less than your coworkers
- Not hiring you
- Harassing you
- Treating you differently than others
- Withholding perks or bonuses
It is against the law for an employer to do any of the above because of your national origin or the origin of your spouse. However, it does happen, and that is when you need the advice of a national origin discrimination lawyer.
What Laws Prohibit National Origin Discrimination?
Since becoming law in 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has prohibited national origin discrimination in private companies with at least 15 employees. Title VII also applies to federal government workplaces, labor organizations, and employment agencies. The law covers you, whether you are a current employee or a job applicant.
Employers cannot discriminate because you come from a different country. They cannot treat you differently if you belong to a group with members from different countries or you are married to somebody who hails from another country. Similarly, your employers or coworkers cannot harass you because you belong to a different church than they do or speak a different language.
Your national origin discrimination attorney can explain the exceptions to Title VII anti-discrimination law. In general, exceptions may apply if your national origin prevents you from doing your job. For example, if you do not speak English, an employer would probably not hire you to answer phones or take orders from English-speaking customers. That kind of decision, based on a specific job requirement, would not legally qualify as national origin discrimination.
California Antidiscrimination Laws
In California, federal laws that prohibit national origin discrimination apply. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act adds additional protections from discrimination.
For example, state law applies to companies with five or more employees, while the federal anti-discrimination law applies to companies with 15 or more. Also, any company, however small, is subject to FEHA’s anti-harassment statute.
Although you can file a national origin discrimination complaint to the appropriate state or government agency, matters can become complicated. You must meet filing deadlines, which vary between agencies. Sometimes, the law requires you to go through several steps to try and resolve your issue before you can make a formal complaint. You may also encounter issues with liability, so you must sue the correct company or individual.
Due to the complexity that results when federal and state statutes overlap, your best chance of prevailing in a discrimination case is to work with a national origin discrimination attorney in Orange County. Your legal team should be familiar with all applicable laws and know how to navigate the paperwork to meet the various legal requirements in moving your case forward. Otherwise, you may miss your chance to get the compensation the law allows.
Does Your Experience Meet Requirements?
When you experience workplace discrimination, you may be unsure whether it meets the criteria for an official complaint. For example, when a coworker teases you at lunch about your food, which comes from your country of origin, does that qualify as harassment? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it directly related to your country of origin?
- Does it happen regularly?
- Is the teasing unwelcome and/or offensive?
- Does it affect your ability to do your job?
If you can answer “yes” to all four questions, your experience likely qualifies as harassment, according to the law.
You might be unsure about whether you have standing to complain about discrimination. Perhaps your boss belittles you because you are married to a Chinese spouse. Maybe a person in your department makes rude comments about Muslims in general, and you are Muslim. In both of these cases, you do have the right to claim national origin discrimination.
Every situation is different, and you should consult with a national origin discrimination lawyer to find out more. As someone with experience in discrimination cases, your attorney can help you determine whether to move forward.
Orange County National Origin Discrimination Attorney
Rizio Lipinsky is your Orange County law firm for national origin discrimination matters. You have the right to work in a safe, fair, and diverse environment. When you experience discrimination, you have the right to compensation for your losses. Our legal team is here to help. We understand the challenges you face, and we have the legal acumen to help you address them, whether through mediation or in court. Fill out our online contact form or call Rizio Lipinsky at 888-292-8888 today.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.