National Origin Discrimination
WASHINGTON, D.C. Citizenship discrimination, is also known as migration status (or national origin) discrimination, violates federal, New York State, and New York City laws. This means that it is illegal for employers to base decisions in relationship to employment and employees on citizenship.
National origin discrimination is a form of ethnic discrimination that involves treating applicants or employees unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background. National origin discrimination may even apply even if they are not from the particular country the discriminating employee thinks they are from. Additionally, national origin discrimination may also involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to or associated with a person of a certain national origin, or even occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects employees from discrimination in the workplace because of their sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. Title VII generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including government employers. Moreover, other federal protections may also apply. For instance, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in any aspect of employment-based upon an individual’s citizenship or immigration status. Examples of such unlawful conduct may include discriminating against persons during recruitment, hiring, firing, laying off, or when a referral for a fee is involved. IRCA applies to employers with 4 or more employees and included federal, state and local governments as well as employment agencies and labor organizations. Moreover, employers are prohibited from hiring only U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents unless the employer is required to do so by law, regulation, or government contract.
Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act, employers may not refuse to accept an employee or applicant’s lawful documentation that establishes the employment eligibility, or demand further documentation beyond what is legally required, when verifying employment eligibility based on the employee’s national origin or citizenship status. Such documentation may include documents related to completing the Department of Homeland Security Form I-9 and it is the employee’s choice which of the acceptable Form I-9 documents to show to verify employment eligibility.
The harassment of a person because of his/her citizenship is illegal. Moreover, it is unlawful to retaliate against individuals for asserting their rights under Federal law, or for filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), or assisting in an investigation or proceeding under IRCA.
Additionally, as mentioned, there are state discrimination laws that further protect employees from unlawful discrimination. Both the state of New York and New York City law applies to employers with 4 or more employees and offers broader protection. Both laws also bar retaliation against employees for asserting their rights under the statute.
In the state of New York, it is unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee due to citizenship status and national origin. The New York City Human Rights Law is a New York City statute that prohibits employment discrimination based on citizenship status, alienage, and national origin. New York State Human Rights Law is the New York State statute that provides substantially similarly protections for New Yorkers who live outside of the NYC proper.

Both the state of New York and New York City law applies to employers with 4 or more employees and offers broader protection. The New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC, have years of experience litigating claims of national origin discrimination. Working closely with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC has recovered hundreds of thousands for our clients who were the victims of discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your national origin, please give our experienced attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.