National Origin + Ancestry

California law prohibits employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on national origin. National origin includes the country where a person was born, the country of one’s ancestors, a collective nationality group (such as “Hispanic”), as well as the physical, cultural, and linguistic characteristics of a particular national group. The law also prohibits harassment and discrimination against employees based on their association with people of a particular national origin. Most employers may not harass or treat employees differently in making employment decisions such as hiring, termination, promotion, demotion, training, or compensation because of their national origin.

Whether an employment decision or policy constitutes unlawful national origin discrimination will depend on several factors, including the nature of the employer’s business, the qualifications of the employee, and the nature of the position at issue. For example, “English only” policies, accent discrimination, and prohibiting religious clothing are unlawful under some circumstances.

National origin discrimination also frequently coexists with other forms of illegal discrimination and harassment, including religious discrimination and race discrimination, as race and religion are often closely tied to one’s national origin. For example, where a supervisor refuses to hire Hispanic job applicants because he believes they are all Catholics, she may be engaging in race, national origin, and religious discrimination.

If you believe you may have been discriminated against, harassed, or terminated because of your national origin, or your employer is retaliating against you because you complained about national origin discrimination, you need employment law specialists on your side. Sarnoff + Sarnoff is committed to advancing employee rights and bringing to justice any employer that engages in, encourages, or fails to prevent discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in the workplace. Give us a call at (415) 788-0888, email us at info@sarnofflaw.com, or complete our online contact form to find out whether your rights have been violated and if we can help.

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