In Pennsylvania and across the nation, people are increasingly comfortable lodging complaints when they are subjected to workplace discrimination. Part of that is the #MeToo movement for sexual harassment. Still, there are other ways in which workers can be discriminated against. One that happens often is national origin discrimination.
Recognizing national origin discrimination is key to putting a stop to it. If a person is from a certain location, has a specific accent or ethnicity, or simply looks a certain way and it sparks discrimination, it can warrant a legal claim. It can also occur due to a husband or wife’s national origin. Behavior can be categorized as discriminatory even if the alleged perpetrator is from the same place.
It is illegal for employers to treat a person differently due to their national origin. This includes the interview process, hiring or dismissing decisions, wages, work assignments, promotions and any other part of the job. It is important to note that lighthearted teasing does not constitute harassment or discrimination, but there can be a fine line. The severity and frequency are critical factors in it being offensive and illegal.
According to the law, employers cannot institute a practice that applies to a person based on his or her national origin. For example, fluent English can only be a requirement if it is needed to do the job. If the worker has an accent and it does not inhibit job performance, adverse treatment is likely discriminatory. In addition, citizenship and immigration status cannot spark discriminatory treatment. Being discriminated against or harassed at work for any reason can hinder a person’s job status, affect their future and cause personal and psychological challenges. Having legal assistance may be vital to addressing the problem and recovering compensation after this form of workplace discrimination.