Employment Discrimination Help

Discrimination Based on National Origin

National origin discrimination takes place when an employee is treated unfavorably due to coming from a particular place in the world, country, ethnicity, accent, or when this “origin” is imputed.

For example, a person of the same race may discriminate against somebody who is from a different country: let’s say a boss from Haiti discriminates against somebody from Jamaica. A very common form of national origin discrimination takes place when a person’s accent gets mocked; or person’s practices or traditions. Ancestry discrimination is a form of national origin discrimination: it takes place when somebody gets harassed based on the fact that his/her ancestors come from a specific area of the world.

Does discrimination take place only during the employment/work process? Of course not. It may influence a hiring or termination decision as well. A discrimination during hiring process, however, is harder to prove, because an employer may always argue that did not like an employee because of qualifications…

What is ethnicity discrimination?

Ethnicity discrimination often takes place when an employee or a group pf employees are unfavorably treated due to their heritage (Hispanic employees, for example) or accent, or the way they were educated in the foreign country… While discrimination based on ethnicity falls under national origin discrimination of Title VII, it may also be alleged within 1981 Section frame: "the prohibition against racial discrimination [codified in Section 1981] encompasses discrimination based on ancestry or ethnic characteristics." Anderson v. Conboy, 156 F.3d 167, 170 (2d Cir. 1998); see also Ganthier v. North-Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Inc., 345 F. Supp. 2d 271, 281 (E.D.N.Y. 2004) (Spatt, J.) ("Under Section 1981, 'race' includes ancestry [28] and ethnicity."). See Sowemimo v. D.A.O.R Security, 43 F. Supp. 2d 477, 491 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (considering a Nigerian plaintiff's § 1981 claim, stating "Sowemimo, as a black woman of African descent, is a member of a racial minority."); Ekandem v. District of Columbia, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4822, at *5-6 (D.D.C. Apr. 10, 1992) (denying defendant's motion to dismiss where Nigerian plaintiff alleged that he had been discriminated against based on national origin and referred to being African and black in his complaint); see also Franchitti v. Bloomberg, L.P., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21071, at *8-9 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 20, 2004) (permitting the plaintiff to amend his complaint because he alleged he was harassed "at least in part because his ethnic origins are French").

Can an Employer require to speak English only?

Yes, but only if it relates to the business purposes. Otherwise, an “English only policy” will be found discriminatory.

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