Who is Protected by the EEOC Laws Regarding National Origin?

Areas of Protection Under EEOC Laws

The EEOC was formed back in 1965 as a result of the civil rights movement. This government entity develops and helps to enforce the laws that protect individuals from workplace discrimination. That discrimination can take many different forms including discrimination based on:

  • Race – This not only includes skin color, but also other physical attributes that make up individual appearances.
  • Color – Two people of the same race can be drastically different colors (fair skin vs. dark skin).
  • Religion – A person’s religious beliefs should not affect their work, thus they shouldn’t matter to employers.
  • Sex – This is not just male vs. female.  A pregnant female cannot be discriminated against because she is pregnant.
  • National Origin – Since race and color do not mark physical boundaries, national origin encompasses the rest.  It focuses primarily on language.
  • Age – This does not include employers who have a minimum age requirement, but rather discrimination against those over 40 years old as being “too old.”
  • Disability – As long as a person can perform the job duties, physical or mental disabilities should not be considered.
  • Genetic Information – Anything about the appearance of a person that doesn’t fit into one of the above categories is covered under this section.

Laws Against National Origin Discrimination

When the EEOC was first formed, it was primarily designed to guard against racial discrimination in the workplace. As employer’s found ways to get around those laws, more areas of discrimination were added. The area of national origin protects those who are being discriminated against due to which country they come from.

Language – The biggest concern is discriminating based on ability to speak English, or what accent one carries. The EEOC is clear that unless speaking English is necessary to ensure the safety of the workplace, then an employer cannot make an “English-only” law. This carries over to those with accents, or who are only partially fluent.

Cultural Beliefs – Much of this falls into the category of religious discrimination. However, there are some cultural beliefs that are not based on religion that a person adheres to. Discriminating based on this is illegal.

Harassment – Harassment happens in many different ways. If an employee is being harassed due to their national origin, then the work environment has become hostile and unsafe. Failure to supervise employees engaging in harassment is illegal

National Origin Discrimination

Basically anything that discriminates an employee (or potential employee) based on his or her language or beliefs, falls under the category of national origin discrimination. This includes racial slurs, denial of employment/advancement, or discipline. If you have been discriminated based on these things, you may be able to file a national origin discrimination lawsuit.

Contact Phillips Dayes about Your National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit

If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace, even if it was not based on your national origin, you should schedule your free initial consultation with an attorney from today. Simply call 1-800-917-4000, or fill out the contact form on this page to get started.