National Origin Discrimination as Described by the EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing laws that basically prohibit covered employers from discriminating against and/or harassing their employees. It also provides aggrieved employees the opportunity to complain about their acts of discrimination in almost all employment practices by filing a charge against their employers.

One of the acts of workplace bias that is not allowed according to EEOC guidelines is discrimination on the basis of national origin. Basically, this involves the maltreatment of either applicants or employees because of where they are from. This kind of discrimination is also often based on the employee’s or applicant’s ethnicity or accent.

It can also involve the unfavorable maltreatment of an employee for being married to a person of a certain national origin. The same goes if the employee is connected with an ethnic organization or group. Such form of discrimination can occur even when the victim and the harasser are of the same national origin.


EEOC’s guidelines on prohibiting national origin discrimination

The EEOC enforces the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, and national origin, among others.

Looking deeper into the provisions of this law, it forbids national origin bias in aspects of employment such as hiring, termination, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, and any other employment terms and conditions.

Aside from discrimination on the basis of someone else’s ethnicity or national origin, Title VII also prohibits harassment on the basis of such. Making offensive, derogatory remarks towards a person’s national origin, accent, or ethnicity is primarily against the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the EEOC’s regulations.

Likewise, it is illegal to harass an employee on such grounds, so much so that it would create a hostile and/or offensive work environment, which would likely result in him or her getting either terminated or demoted from his or her position. Harassers could be the victim’s immediate superior (e.g. manager, supervisor), as well as a co-worker, and a client or customer.


Seeking employee protection

Incidentally, if you are a California employee and you were subjected to discrimination by your employer on the basis of your national origin, ethnicity, or accent, you must immediately file a charge against your employer through the EEOC. You are given only 180 days since the act of discrimination took place to file a charge, which may be extended by the state law.


Aside from the EEOC, you may likewise seek the expertise of our Los Angeles employment lawyers who can help you establish a case against your employer.