National origin discrimination lawyers represents clients in Dallas and Fort Worth employment discrimination claims. In Texas, national origin discrimination is a prohibited form of employment discrimination based upon the country or part of a world a person is from or perceived to be from. National origin discrimination can be based upon appearance, name, language spoken, spoken accent or relationship with somebody who is from a particular country or region of the world. Like other employment discrimination claims, national origins discrimination claims are complex and working with an employment discrimination attorney can help you seek justice for the discrimination you have suffered.
How national origin discrimination occurs in the Texas workplace
National origin discrimination is prohibited in any part of the employment relationship, from hiring practices through termination of employment. National origin discrimination is unlawful when it has a negative effect on obtaining or keeping a job as well as the terms and conditions of employment. Common ways national origin discrimination can occur:
- Job advertisements
- Application processes and applicant screening
- Pre-employment inquires
- Job referrals
- Job assignments and promotions
- Compensation (both pay and benefits)
- Merit reviews, performance evaluation and raises
- Disciplinary practices
- Terminations, layoffs and reductions in force (RIF)
Typical national origin discrimination claims
Although national origin discrimination can occur in any of the above ways, it commonly occurs in one of three ways.
National origin discrimination in hiring
First, it often occurs somewhere in the hiring process. This is the supervisor or employer’s first opportunity to discriminate and with national origin discrimination the cues for discrimination appear early through names on applications and resumes, accents during phone calls and appearance during face to face interviews. Employers may also discriminate during the hiring process by only hiring citizens or permanent residents. Unless the law or a government contract limits eligible employment for a position to citizens or permanent residents, employers cannot refuse to hire immigrants with a legal work status.
National origin harassment
Second, national origin discrimination often occurs as workplace harassment. Harassment occurs when the workplace becomes hostile through the acts of coworkers or management. It occurs through words, pictures, emails, job assignments, threats and even physical contact. Harassment becomes actionable as discrimination when it negatively affects your job. It is always actionable when management is perpetrating the harassment. If it is your co-workers harassing you, it becomes actionable when management has a reasonable opportunity to stop the harassment but fails to do so.
English-only language rules
Third, employers frequently discriminate on the basis of national origin by imposing unnecessary English-only rules. English-only rules are only permitted when it is necessary to perform the job, such as employee or customer safety, and it is established for non-discriminatory reasons. Even when an English-only rule is appropriate in the workplace it cannot be enforced against employees during off-duty times in break areas, such as restrooms and eating areas, without a specific business purpose. No matter how your employer discriminated on the basis of your national origin, you do not have to live with what happened.
Related claims in Texas
National origin discrimination can be tied into race or ethnicity discrimination because your employer or supervisor may discriminate against your national origin, your ethnicity, your race and possibly your religion, as many reasons to hate the same people.
Your employer may also retaliate against you for bringing claims of national origin discrimination to the attention of management, HR, or a government agency. This retaliation is unlawful and creates an independent claim against your employer. Your right to work free from national origin discrimination includes the right to report unlawful discrimination and take steps to protect your rights.
Remedies for national origin discrimination in Texas
Employment laws provide remedies to make a victim of national origin discrimination whole. These remedies can range from requiring the employer to hire/reinstate/promote/etc. to paying for economic losses, such as lost wages while you try to find a new job. The specific remedies pursued on an age discrimination claim depend on what negative effects you suffered and what is best for you. If the company was very hostile towards you then it may not make sense to ask the court to reinstate you to your job and instead ask for the company to pay your lost wages. The job you lost may be particularly important to you so reinstatement may be the appropriate remedy.
Handling national origin discrimination claims in Texas
National origin discrimination claims follow the same process as other employment discrimination claims, which is a complex process. National origin discrimination claims begin with a charge filed with the federal (EEOC) and state (TWC) discrimination agencies. These agencies will investigate your claims of discrimination. You must file a charge within a limited period of time after the discrimination occurred to preserve your claims.
During the investigation there may be mediation between you and your employer. If there is a finding of discrimination one of the government agencies may decide to file suit against your employer. Then we will work jointly to represent your claims. Otherwise we will pursue litigation on our own. From there, the case may settle or go to trial.
All employment discrimination claims are challenging claims for many reasons. The employer controls most of the information that might directly prove discrimination. Often, there is no direct evidence (no smoking gun) of discrimination; so the case must be proven by indirect or circumstantial evidence.