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National Origin Discrimination Attorneys in New York City


National origin discrimination in New York City is when an employee or job applicant is harassed or treated poorly based on his or her nationality, foreign accent, ethnicity, ancestry, culture or the national origin of a person’s spouse or family. This also applies if an employer has the perception that the employee or job applicant of a certain national origin. A person’s national origin is the country in which they were born or where their ancestors lived. In other words, this is your nationality, ethnicity, and culture. Over the past 25 years, the Derek Smith Law Group has helped New York employee receive compensation when they are a victim of national origin discrimination.

What Is Discrimination Based on National Origin?

According to the law, an employer is prohibited from treating an employee or applicant unfairly or harassing a person because of national origin or nationality. National origin is one of the protected classes under federal and state workplace discrimination laws, as is race, color, sexuality, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, citizenship, pregnancy, and more. National origin discrimination is when your employer or people in your office create a hostile work environment or treat you unfairly because of the following characteristics:
• Nationality
• Ethnicity
• Culture
• Foreign accent
• Foreign language or dialect
• Customs
• Ancestry
• Ideology
• Cuisine
• Rituals
• Style of dress or clothing
• Physical appearance
• Any other characteristic associated with your cultural and national background, including your association with a person or people of a different national origin, or your perceived national origin.

These protections are also extended to areas who are not recognized as a nation, for instance, refugees from a defunct government are covered by this act.

Furthermore, the New York City Commission of Human Rights has declared it illegal for an employer to call a person an “illegal alien” and other immigration terms as a means to harass or humiliate a person. In addition, this new guideline states an employer or supervisor cannot threaten to contact ICE about an employee or job applicant as a means to discriminate or retaliate.

What is the Difference Between Race and National Origin Discrimination?

Race is the grouping of people based on physical characteristics, such as the structure of their face, the texture of their hair, and the shape of their eyes, to name a few. Race discrimination is when harassment or adverse employment actions occur based on a person’s race.
National origin is nationality. It is directly related to the country in which a person is from, is perceived to be from, or his or her association with others from a real or perceived country. It can include culture, language, and even accents, etc.

What Qualifies as National Origin Discrimination?

Some examples include:
• Firing someone because of their accent or ethnicity
• Retaliation against an employee for going to HR to report a problem of harassment based on nation of origin
• Creating a hostile work environment for someone of a particular national origin
• Maintaining of culture of only hiring or never hiring people of a certain national origin
• Telling a person to “go back to where you came from”
• Expecting a person to speak English only in the workplace, even when speaking another language does not impact their job
• Denying a project to an employee because the client would not like people of their nationality
• Denying a promotion to a person because his or her accent is too thick
• Firing a person simply because his or her spouse if from a certain nation
• Only requiring right to work papers from people that are from another country or appear to be another country
• Treating an employee unfairly because his or her spouse was not born in the US
• Reprimanding an employee and using slurs against their nationality while doing so
These are just some examples of how national origin discrimination can rear its ugly head in your New York City workplace. However, there are many other ways it can be carried out. If you have been a victim of national origin discrimination in the workplace, the experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

What is the Statute of Limitations for National Origin Discrimination?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from discrimination based on their national origin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency which enforces the anti-discrimination in employment laws as discussed under this statute. According to the law, if you have experienced national origin discrimination in your New York City workplace of 15 or more employees, you have 300 days from the date of the last incident to file your claim. Once you receive the Right to Sue letter from the EEOC, you have 90 days to file your complaint in Federal Court.

New York City will allow a claim to be filed with the New York City Commission of Human Rights (NYC CHR) instead of the EEOC for any employee of a company with four or more employees within one year after the date of the last incident of national origin discrimination.

What Relief Can a Court Award Me If I Prove a Claim of National Origin Discrimination?

Your case is unique, and the relief is tailored towards your experience and suffering. A court may award several different types of relief for your claim. These include:
• Reinstatement of your job
• Reimbursement of back pay from the work you missed due to the adverse action
• Reimbursement of future pay if you will not be going back to work at that employer
• Attorney’s fees
• Reimbursement of medical expenses or other unnecessary expenses incurred as a result of the adverse action or harassment
• Punitive damages. These are where the larger settlements come in. The idea is to punish the employer such that the employer will not repeat this type of behavior in the future. The punitive damages are typically based upon the gross earnings of the company, the egregious nature of the action, and whether the employer was a first-time offender.

How Long Will the Litigation Take to be Resolved?

National origin discrimination cases in New York are all different. Each case has a different set of circumstances and different players involved. Therefore, the time it takes to resolve your case may vary as well. We know that a claim with the EEOC can take 300 days before a Right to Sue letter is received. And we know that once it is received, you have 90 days to file your complaint with the court. Once the complaint is filed, it is possible your employer will request mediation to settle the claim quickly. It is less likely your employer will offer what your case is actually worth. Therefore, it is likely the case will go through several rounds of mediation before settling. Assuming your case does not need to be tried in court, your case will likely take around 6 to 9 months to resolve. However, if the employer wants to go to court, the case may take a year or longer to be resolved. Our group of experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in New York will work with you from beginning to end and gladly answer all of your questions along the way.

How Can I Prove Discrimination Based on National Origin In New York City?

National origin discrimination may be easy to prove, however, more often than not, the difficulty will be in proving that you treated unfairly based on your national origin and not your ability to do the job or work productively. Therefore, it is up to you to collect as much evidence as possible for your case. First, make sure you document as much as possible. Take notes of each incident. Include the date, who was involved, and what was said or done. You will likely need to note several incidents before you can present a case to a court.
Second, learn who you can call upon to support your claims. Maybe there were other co-workers around to hear or see what occurred. Note who these people are and any of their contact information you may be able to recall or gather.
By keeping notes and documenting these points, you will be able to make proving your case a bit easier before you ever enter a courtroom.

Is Discrimination against Non-US Citizens Illegal in New York?

In 1986, Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), making it illegal for an employer to discriminate or harass an individual based upon a person’s citizenship or immigration status. The IRCA was designed to prohibit employers from exclusively hiring US citizens, or lawful permanent resident unless required to do so by law or government contract. The IRCA forbids employers from refusing to accept lawful documentation which establishes an employee’s eligibility to work or demand additional documentation beyond what is legally required by the Department of Homeland Security. The IRCA also prevents employers from taking actions against individuals for asserting their rights under the Act, such as reporting the candidate to ICE. The IRCA claims are enforced by the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

Contact Our National Origin Discrimination Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you were you harassed at work because of where you are from, what you wear, or how you speak? Or if an employer refuses to hire you because of your race, religion, or ethnicity? National origin discrimination encompasses a wide array of discriminatory practices in New York City workplaces. If a company, boss, or co-worker has treated you poorly, and you believe the misconduct is related to your national origin, you may be entitled to compensation. We want to hear from you. The experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group are ready to answer your questions. Contact us today at 212-587-0760 for your free consultation. We do not collect any money until we win your case.

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