Under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have the right to equal treatment no matter where you come from. If you feel your employer or potential employer treated you unfavorably because of your ethnic background, you may have a discrimination claim.
Workplace discrimination includes all parts of employment, including hiring, job assignments, firing, layoffs, benefits and promotions.
Definition of national origin discrimination
Your national origin can include your country of origin, ethnicity or accent. It can also include wrong assumptions about your background. If people discriminate against you because of a perceived ethnicity it still qualifies as national origin discrimination.
No employer, supervisor or colleague can harass you because of your national origin. While this does not include simple teasing, it becomes harassment when the incidents become severe and create a hostile environment.
Examples of discrimination based on national origin
Sometimes, discrimination is obvious. For example, if you face teasing or harassment from your colleagues or an employer makes it clear that he or she did not hire you due to your origins, you can easily claim discrimination. However, discrimination is often subtle. For instance, an employer may state that you do not have the proper qualifications, even though you do.
If a business has no valid reason to require employees only speak English at work, such a rule may be discriminatory. Likewise, employers should never ask you for more documentation than is legally required to prove your eligibility to work.
If you file a claim against your workplace for discrimination, your employer cannot retaliate against you.